Farmers from within the East African Community have asked EALA Speaker to add on the agenda of discussions, to be discussed by EAC Presidents, the agriculture sector at a meeting expected later this month.
“We hope that if the heads of states meet and discuss the agriculture sector, they will be in a postilion to come up with the funding framework. How the sector will be funded,” said Hakim Baliraine the Chairperson of the Eastern and Southern Africa Small Scale Farmers Forum- Uganda chapter.
“Without allocating enough resources, we will continue to see the number of stunting children of less than 5 years increasing,” Baliraine added.
The farmers also want the legislative assembly to offer them an opportunity where they can hand over their petition to the Heads of States over the limited allocation of enough resources to the Agriculture sector.
Once their plea is granted, It will help farmers to share with the heads of states challenges that are affecting the progress of the sector.
Addressing the Media in Kampala, Baliraine said East African Community countries are doing well especially in the implementation of the Malabo declaration but, the region is falling short on budgetary allocation in the sector to reach 10% which may force the region backwards especially when it comes to ending hunger and malnutrition.
According to the Biennial Review report for the period of 2015-2016, investment in the Agriculture sector was still lagging behind.
For stance, Kenya invested only 2.3%, Uganda 2.9%, Tanzania 5.9%, Rwanda 7.8% and Burundi about 13.03%. The in the financial year 2018/2019 Kenya allocated 1.89%, Uganda 2.9%, Tanzania 3.3% and Rwanda 7.3% respectively.
They have so far collected 532,424 signatures from farmers with in the EAC community. With support from EALA Speaker, they hope to present 1million signatures at the EAC Heads of State summit expected this November.
Beatrice Pangani a farmer from Kasese said the limited funding to the sector has greatly affected Women farmers as they are not able to access modern technologies.
Will the farmers’ demands be successful?
The farmers recently met with EALA Speaker Martin Ngoga to support their petition during the EAC Heads of Government. According to those that attended the meeting he promised to support them.
BY SAMUEL NABWIISO