The government of Uganda has announced increased investment of the agriculture sector in order to boost food security, improve agriculture productivity and increase incomes for most Ugandans, 75% of whom are employed in the agriculture sector.
The Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Syda Bbumba said the government is allocating more funding this 2010/2011 financial year to improve the performance of the agriculture sector. She says the government has allocated more funds to help farmers access loans, get inputs and extension services in addition to improve agriculture market infrastructure.
Bbumba says in order to improve farmers’ adoption of technology, the government has allocated money for the National Agriculture Advisory Services to extend its services to 100 farmers per parish by providing farmers with inputs including seeds, fertilizers, and herbicides. She says in some areas, NAADS will provide water pumps for irrigation and to support value addition to agricultural products.
The minister says the government will also ensure there are rice hullers and maize mills in every sub-county across Uganda to increase processing of agriculture products and value addition.
Bbumba announced 15 billion shillings to kick start an agriculture commercialization fund to be operational at every sub-county. She said different banks had started offering agriculture loans following the government’s provision of funds to cover such loans and match banks’ allocation to agriculture financing.
She also announced 3 billion shillings to the Meteorology department to improve their capacity to predict the weather and give reliable predictions to farmers.