The Rt. Hon. Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, has promised continued advocacy for farmers’ welfare despite what she described as frustration from the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries.
At an annual event organized by the Vision Group and the Embassy of the Netherlands to award best farmers in the country, Kadaga said Parliament will continue to play its part irrespective of the responsible Ministry’s weaknesses.
“One of our weakest Ministries is the Ministry of Agriculture; for instance in the Ninth Parliament, there was not a single Bill from the Ministry, ” Kadaga said.
The Speaker added that for a year now, she has had “running battles with the Ministry over production, storage and marketing mechanisms for agricultural products”
In the next budgeting process, Kadaga promised to accelerate the 15 percent national budget allocation to the agricultural sector, pursuant to the international declarations to which Uganda is party.
The Ambassador of Netherlands to Uganda, H.E. Henk Jan Bakker announced his country’s support for the next two episodes of the competition.
Bakker encouraged government to provide enablers to the transformation of agriculture as highlighted in the National Vision 2040.
“Let me remind you that agricultural transformation in Uganda as enshrined in Vision 2040 is possible,” said Ambassador Bakker.
The top three farmers are to travel to the Netherlands, to borrow a leaf from their counterparts on best practices.
On top of their imminent trip, the trio also received shs50 million, shs30 million and shs 20 million cash prizes respectively.
Vision Group Chief Executive Officer, Mr Robert Kabushenga, requested the Speaker to pursue government’s promise to deliver 18 million hoes to farmers in the run up to the 2016 presidential elections.
The Speaker promised to follow up the matter with the President.