Local participation & empowerment are central features of the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) in Uganda. A few years into the introduction of a program to transform the lives of the rural poor, the author undertook a study (in 2003) to examine whether there is real or pseudo participation. The study focused on farmers’ participation in decision-making; participation in financial affairs, knowledge of rights and obligations, consultation, communication, transparency & accountability. Questionnaires, interviews, discussions and observation were used to get quantitative & qualitative data. A sample of 60 respondents was interviewed. Findings reveal that despite general satisfaction with leaders’ performance, there are no measures to check performance, leaders only involve farmers in communal work with decisions imposed from above. Project implementation, monitoring and evaluation as well as participation in financial affairs stop at the farmers receiving feedback. Consultation is inadequate, communication channels are poor and there are no mechanisms to ensure accountability. Local initiatives, knowledge and technology as well as training & political will are basic.