By Francis Emorut
KAMPALA - Small-holder farmers want government to establish an agriculture financing council to play an oversight role in agriculture and to enable farmers across the country access credit from banks.
The council, according to the farmers, would help solve the bottlenecks encountered in accessing credit for agriculture.
The farmers were speaking during a national dialogue on agriculture financing in Kampala.
“Farmers should be in the council and we don't want to find ourselves left out," said Paul Katuriiba, the chairperson of Uganda Farmers Common Voice Platform western region.
Another farmer, Gerald Nkusi from Kisoro, agreed that an agriculture financing council will also help the youth access credit facility in financial institutions.
MPs, ministry of agriculture and Bank of Uganda officials were among those who attended the dialogue.
Organized by Caritas Uganda in conjunction with Uganda National Farmers Federation, the discussion was aimed at finding ways of supporting farmers to access credit.
It was also intended to provide feedback by policy makers to farmers on different issues affecting agriculture, as well as to find out the progress on agriculture financing strategy.
A small-holder farmer in her maize garden in Mukono.Farmers want government to set up agriculture finacing council. (Photo credit Francis Emorut)
On their part, the involved legislators called for streamlining of the agriculture sector and avoiding of role duplication.
"We need to reorganize agriculture so that we have one strong voice and avoid duplication of duties," Kapelebyong County MP Peter Eriaku said.
Betty Ochan, Gulu Woman MP, appealed to banks that provide agriculture credit not to dehumanize small-holder farmers when they fail to pay otherwise it becomes a human rights issue.
Augustine Mwendya, the executive director of Uganda National Farmers Federation noted that the availability and accessibility of financial services by small-holder farmers is critical for the success of agriculture sector.
Kigulu South MP Milton Muwuma urged the government to sensitize farmers not only on production but also on technology for post-harvest handling.
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Farmers want gov’t to set up agriculture financing council