By Billy Rwothungeyo
More investments need to be plunged into the agricultural value chain for Uganda to achieve sustainable economic growth and development, Dr. Kisamba-Mugerwa, the chairperson of the National Planning Authority (NPA) has said.
“Taking into account the labour force of about 65% still stuck in agriculture despite its dwindling contribution to GDP, it remains pertinent to promote agricultural productivity and production to sustain the agricultural value chain in value addition,” he said.
Mugerwa made the remarks after opening the second Economic Forum of the Chartered Public Accountants of Uganda Wednesday in Entebbe.
He added: “The proportion of the population depending mainly on agriculture has been falling from 66% in 2012 to 63% in 2013, but it is still too large, given the shrinking contribution of agriculture as a percentage of GDP. We must therefore plan for a substantial percentage of those currently engaged in in agriculture to shift to higher productivity non-agricultural occupations.”
The former politician also hinted on the challenges facing the sector that employs the majority of Ugandans.
“We are not investing enough in research; we have relaxed in managing the natural resources, especially the soil. The people in Kabale used to have the terraces, they are all gone. We do not have fertilizers, only 5% use irrigation, so we do not use all the water we have, we do not have organized farming in groups and cooperatives to increase marketing,”
Patrick Kagoro, the President of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda (ICPAU) said the forum, which ends on Friday, will majorly focus on agriculture and education.’
“Our economy still relies predominantly on agriculture. In July 2013, Uganda coffee exports earned $4.1m. The agriculture sector contributes 21% to Gross Domestic Product. However, the sector continues to face challenges such as the continued practice of subsistence farming, inadequate mechanization and improper accountability for the little funds,” he said.
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