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Monday,October 26,2020 13:53 PM

Farmers view on the budget

By Vision Reporter

Added 14th June 2011 03:00 AM

What the budget means to farmers
Since Uganda’s population depends on agriculture, it is important for the Government and other stakeholders to mechanise agriculture for increased production.

What the budget means to farmers
Since Uganda’s population depends on agriculture, it is important for the Government and other stakeholders to mechanise agriculture for increased production.

By Prossy Nandudu

What the budget means to farmers
Since Uganda’s population depends on agriculture, it is important for the Government and other stakeholders to mechanise agriculture for increased production.

Farmers in rural areas have been using hand hoes which do not allow an individual to cover a large piece of land compared to the use of oxen ploughs and tractors. Harvest Money talked to some farmers and stake holders about the tax cut.

Prof. Samuel Kyamanywa from the school of Agriculture at Makerere University says continuous use of a hand hoe is responsible for the youth abandoning agriculture. He advises the Government to promote agriculture mechanisation through the use of tractors and ox-ploughs.

His comments come after the Government announced a removal of excise duty on hoes, a move that has been welcomed by other farmers.

Kigozi Kaweesa, who owns an integrated farm on Bombo Road, says removing taxes on hoes will increase production but mechanisation would be the best.

“This will partly reduce the cost of production. People have been running to supermarkets for packed agriculture products like vegetables, beans, eggs, milk, for fear of the costs of production and yet agriculture pays less. So this will increase production and profits in our pockets.”

Kigozi also calls on the Government to subsidise certain agricultural inputs like fertilisers, seeds and packaging materials.

Gerald Sendaula, a coffee farmer and also the chairman, Private Sector Foundation, wants more roads to link farmers to markets constructed, using the, sh219.4bn set aside for transport this financial year. He, however, wants the implementation process to kick off.

He also welcomes the allocation of funds towards irrigation and water harvesting and the rehabilitation of ware houses around the country to help farmers store their produce as they wait for prices to stabilise.

Gideon Badagawa, the executive director of Private Sector Foundation, is calling on the Government to prioritise the renovation of the railway line linking Uganda to Mombasa so as to enable farmers of bulky commodities like coffee and tea to reach Kenya for auctioning in time.

He also wants to see work being done on ground to avoid a repeat of the same projects in the next financial year. However, Badagawa is opposed to the removal of taxes on hoes saying attention should be focussed on mechanising agriculture for large scale production.

Richard Kaijuka, the former energy minister wants the Government to set targets for the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) to ensure efficient service delivery in the agricultural sector. Failure to implement, the money should be reallocated to other areas in need of the services.

NAADS has lately come under criticism for providing fake seeds, poor breeds of goats and birds to farmers thus frustrating the programme meant to improve agriculture for increased household income.

David Baguma, the executive director, Association of Microfinance Institutions of Uganda, (AMFIU) would like a special Agriculture development bank or organisation that understands the cycle of farming to handle the agricultural fund.

In this year’s budget, the Government is giving commercial banks sh30b to lend out to farmers at low interest rates. Baguma argues that commercial banks are not willing to lend this money at the lowest rate possible because they are business people. He goes on to say that rural income earners in villages do not have the collateral these commercial institutions require.

“We are advocating for an institution like the agriculture development bank or organisation that understands how agriculture in rural areas is done so that when people borrow money for agriculture, they are given cycles in which they can repay,” says Baguma

Farmers view on the budget

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