President Yoweri Museveni has encouraged farmers to utilize government programs being implemented in the agriculture sector to fight hunger and grow financially.
In the speech read on his behalf by the Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda during the official opening of the 27th Agricultural show at the Source of the Nile in Jinja early in the week, the President said there are many programs if well embraced can make Uganda poverty and hunger-free state.
“How come some families are experiencing food insecurity? This is because many of the famers have not embraced government programs despite the fact that government has created conducive environment for the farmers by providing agricultural inputs under the various programs being implemented in the sector,” the President said in the Speech.
He advised farmers to embrace good practices if they are to grow financially.
The president observed that majority farmers practice subsistence farming, a practice which has kept many into poverty because they grow only for domestic consumption.
To ensure that the Agriculture sector develops at high rate, the government developed various programs that seek to help farmers to improve on both quality and quantity in Agricultural production.
Some programs such as Operation Wealth Creation look at supporting farmers with agricultural inputs and value addition in produce. Other programs like the Agricultural Credit facility look at supporting farmers with cheap agricultural loans.
The Minister for Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries Vincent Bamulangaki Ssempija said during the opening of the show that government need to support more small scale farmers because majority still do not access cheap loans under the Agricultural Credit facility because they lacks bankable securities.
“We need special programs that target the largest group of farmers if the sector is to move on, the facility ends up benefiting only the commercial farmers,” he said.
The Jinja show offers a platform to farmers to learn best farming practices and to share experience on how some of the challenges in the agriculture sector can be mitigated. The 2019 Agricultural show attracted both local and International exhibitors dealing in the sector.
During the show, the President awarded best model farmers in the country.
The Jinja show is organized by the Uganda National Farmers Federation in partisanship with the Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries.
This year’s theme for the Show is “Agricultural Technologies and Innovations for farmers –led Agro- Industrialization.
BY SAMUEL NABWIISO