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Regional farmers’ forum opens in Kampala

By Vision Reporter

Added 15th October 2014 07:01 PM

The National food sovereignty forum symposium has opened in Kampala with a call on government to increase budgetary allocation to the agricultural sector so as to boost food security.

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The National food sovereignty forum symposium has opened in Kampala with a call on government to increase budgetary allocation to the agricultural sector so as to boost food security.

By Patrick Jaramogi

The National food sovereignty forum symposium   has opened in Kampala with a call on government to increase budgetary allocation to the agricultural sector so as to boost food security.


The three-day symposium organized by the Eastern and Southern Africa Small Scale Farmers Forum- (ESAFF) Uganda has attracted over 80 participants from 29 districts and four countries, DRC, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Spain.  The theme of the forum is: ‘sharing national and regional experiences in family farming and food sovereignty.’

Speaking at the opening held at Grand Global Hotel in Kampala Wednesday, Bunyole West MP and member of the Parliamentary Forum on Food security Jacob Wangolo called for vigilance in improving agricultural productivity and adding value.

He said funding to the sector (agriculture) that is the biggest employer was still so low compared to other African states.
“Agriculture is ranked sixth in terms of budgetary allocation in Uganda. Security tops, followed by transport and roads, energy, education, health and finally agriculture yet without agriculture we can’t get food on the table,” said Wangolo.

Wangolo also member of the committee of National Economy said: “we should not run away from the fact that 85% of Ugandans are engaged in farming. There is still little interactions between the farmers and the banks. Famers need banks to boost production. We can’t talk of increasing food production yet farmers still can’t get credit from farmers,” he said.

He observed that much as the poverty levels had reduced from 56% to 19% issues of food production and productivity is still wanting.

“Interest rates charged by commercial banks are still so high. The rate of 20-18% charged by most banks is still high that is why we are urging farmers to utilize government initiatives of mobilizing yourselves to perform SACCOS so as to get easy credit,” he said.

Andrew Adem, the ESAFF program officer said they had through such farmers’ forum engaged parliament and government to waive off the taxes on agricultural inputs that was imposed in the 2014-2015 budget.

Sagar Male Coordinator VSF (Veterinary Doctors without borders) said strengthening the peasant forums is the best way to help in increasing food production and addressing food insecurity. “We hope that the experience that you are going to share with your partners will not end at this hotel but will help you collaborate more with farmers.”

 

Regional farmers’ forum opens in Kampala

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