The Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries has set June 30, 2017, as the deadline for the approval of the National Irrigation Policy by cabinet.
According to Vincent Ssempijja, the Minister for Agriculture, the final draft of the policy has undergone stakeholder consultations as required, adding that the ministry had already sought a certificate of financial implication from the Ministry of Finance.
“The certificate will enable us to fulfil the conditions for the policy to be discussed in cabinet,” Ssempijja told legislators.
Appearing before the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture to defend the ministry’s sh863.44b budget for the financial year 2017/18, Ssempijja attributed the delay to finalizing the policy on the overlap of mandates between the Ministry of Agriculture and that of the Ministry of Water and Environment.
He however noted that the overlaps had been resolved, after a mediation meeting between the two ministries, by the Office of the Prime Minister.
Last week civil society organizations under their umbrella body Civil Budget Advocacy Group (CSBAG) asked Parliament and the executive to fast track the development of a national irrigation policy for improved access on water for production.
Presenting their sectoral position paper on the ministerial policy statement for the Ministry of Water and Environment before the Parliamentary Committee on Natural Resources, the CSOs wanted Parliament and Cabinet to iron out disputes between the ministries regarding the policy.