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Uganda gets sh280b for agriculture

By Vision Reporter

Added 17th August 2011 03:00 AM

UGANDA has received $80m (about sh280b) to promote agricultural and tourism development and fight climate change in the next four years.

UGANDA has received $80m (about sh280b) to promote agricultural and tourism development and fight climate change in the next four years.

By Francis Kagolo and Pauline Nabumba

UGANDA has received $80m (about sh280b) to promote agricultural and tourism development and fight climate change in the next four years.

The grant from the UN Development Programme (UNDP) is also intended to strengthen the central bank’s capacity to increase revenue from remittances made by Ugandans in the diaspora.

Other projects include streamlining local government institutions and strengthening Parliament’s oversight committees to fight fraud and improve service delivery.

The funds have been channelled through various government and civil society agencies.

Of the $80m, Enterprise Uganda received $2.6m (sh7.2b) to strengthen cooperatives and farmer groups and link them to buyers.

UNDP resident representative Theophane Nikyema was optimistic that the project would enhance the farmers’ profitability.

Speaking at the grant signing ceremony at the finance ministry yesterday, Nikyema said the central bank and the Uganda Investment Authority would get $1.06m (about sh3b) to ensure increased earnings from the diaspora.

Uganda earns about $800m (sh2 trillion) in remittances from Ugandans in the diaspora.

But Bank of Uganda director for financial markets Stephen Kaboyo said the country was losing revenue because most remittances were normally channelled through informal networks.

Under the project, the Government intends to strengthen the information management capacity of the bank and the foreign affairs ministry to enhance earnings from the diaspora.

Kaboyo said this would be achieved through mainstreaming the remittances into the formal channels of the financial sector, preferably commercial banks.

The Uganda Tourism Board got $1.2m (sh3.5b) to develop and promote new niche products in the tourism sector that are also pro-poor.

The tourism board has been charged with the responsibility of bringing on board the poor and local communities living around tourist sites to participate in the tourism sector as entrepreneurs, employees and consumers.

“This will contribute to increased benefits for the poor in terms of improved access to labour markets and increased opportunities for decent work and incomes,” said the UNDP country chief.

Another $4.5m (sh12.4) went to the Uganda chapter of the World Wild life Fund for Nature (WWF) to strengthen efforts of local governments, civil society and the local communities to sustainably manage and utilize natural resources.

Under the project, the organization has been tasked to develop, pilot and later implement better initiatives of managing biodiversity and promote sustainable land management. This is aimed at reducing Green House Gas (GHG) emissions and curb climate change.

Nikyema invited other development partners to collaborate with UNDP in addressing Uganda’s development needs.

The secretary to the treasury Keith Muhakanizi, who signed the agreements on behalf of the Government, applauded UNDP for the funding projects he said would enhance accountable and democratic governance and gross poverty reduction in the country.

Muhakanizi warned officials against misusing the funds and ensure efficient implementation of the projects so as to get the desired results.


Uganda gets sh280b for agriculture

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