By Our Reporter
The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, has commended and pledged support to the work done by Operation Wealth Creation.
Kadaga, who was meeting the Chief Coordinator OWC, Gen. Salim Saleh, Deputy Chief Coordinator Lt. Gen. Charles Angina and other OWC directors, said that more Ugandans needed to benefit from the project.
The Speaker pointed out the project proposal for Public Investment Management in Agro-Industry (PIMA), which she said can lay the ground to improve the commercial approach to agriculture in Uganda.
“I will ask the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture to study this proposal and see how to incorporate it in the budget provisions for the 2019/2020 financial year,” Kadaga said.
The meeting was held at Hotel Margherita in Kasese on Tuesday, 04 December 2018.
The meeting was intended to among others find ways to improve agriculture in Busoga sub-region and Uganda at large, through revolutionizing livestock farming.
Gen. Saleh outlined the benefits of implementing the PIMA strategy in farming, which he said could promote predictable commodity financing as well as best management and use of public land.
“If we focus on getting support for the PIMA strategy in the 2019/2020 budget, it will be able to support hubs like Kasolwe Stock Farm to improve farming in Busoga sub-region,” said Gen. Saleh.
He, however, noted that Operation Wealth Creation had invested highly in production but had not yielded as expected.
“A lot of money was spent on inputs which have not been demanded for by farmers,” he said.
Dr. Sheila Butungi from the National Animal Genetics Resource Center (NAGRC), recommended approaches intended to improve farming from subsistence to commercial approach through social capital development including financial inclusion and literacy.
“If we introduce the four-acre model in Busoga sub-region, sugarcane growing can be complimented with animal farming of pigs, chicken or fish. This can improve household incomes greatly,” said Dr. Butungi.
She added that a collective mindset change through community outreach programmes carried out using OWC structures in Busoga can get farmers to adopt new techniques on a commercial scale.
Speaker Kadaga told the meeting that the Ministry of Agriculture had not presented any Bills to Parliament in the last five years, something which the OWC officials attributed to slow progress in the sector.
The NAGRC project dubbed Revolutionizing Livestock Farming in Busoga Sub-region, is estimated to cost US$41.7 million (Shs158.6 billion), and is aimed at complementing land use in Busoga for improved household incomes.