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Museveni spells out new strategies for next 5 years

By Vision Reporter

Added 13th May 2001 03:00 AM

First of all, I thank all of you for campaigning for me in the recently held Presidential Elections. You worked hard to neutralise the lies of the opposition.

First of all, I thank all of you for campaigning for me in the recently held Presidential Elections. You worked hard to neutralise the lies of the opposition.

President Yoweri Museveni on Friday addressed members of the National Conference of the Movement which convened at the Uganda International Conference Centre. Below is his message. Members of the National Conference, Ladies and Gentlemen. First of all, I thank all of you for campaigning for me in the recently held Presidential Elections. You worked hard to neutralise the lies of the opposition. The big vote we got (69.4% of the votes cast) shows that the Movement has become a formidable, durable political force. You are all aware of the attempts by the opposition to revive the old reactionary ghosts of tribalism and religious bigotry. The peasants resolutely rejected these. This is most gratifying for me because this is exactly what we set out to do in 1965 when we were still students - to destroy sectarianism in our politics. The 75% of 1996 and nearly 70% support for me recently, from the broad cross-section of Ugandans, is an eloquent testimony of this fact. The future is bright. Maintain the vigilance. The results from Lango and West Nile, however, were disappointing and not rationally explainable. The people of West Nile were rescued from exile and stigmatization by the NRM. Yet two times they have voted against the Movement. The people of Lango were rescued from the atrocities of the Okellos in 1986. Besides, both Lango and West Nile have developed phenomenally in the last fifteen years. Yet they vote persistently against the Movement Whoever influences them to do so is not a good friend of those areas. He alienates them from their emancipator, the NRM. The case of Acholi is more understandable given the fact that UPDF has not eliminated banditry decisively in Gulu and Kitgum. 'This banditry, however, will be rooted out with or without the co-operation of the Sudan. UPDF need to uproot inefficiency within itself. We, therefore, need to find out why the Movement does not do well in Lango and West Nile, the good works of the movement notwithstanding. However, I am most gratified by the support from Buganda, Western Uganda, Eastern Uganda as well as Karamoja, Madi and the Alur areas. We must, in particular also, salute those who voted for us in the Lango, West Nile, and the Acholi areas. Their courage and foresight is saluted. Nevertheless, our campaign was a bit inefficient and wasteful. From many Movement friends, I raised for the campaign sh13 billion. All this was spent; but we still have debts. I think this money was wasted. We could have used it for more durable work especially the Movement house. We must, indeed, build the Movement House now. I recommend that we build a twenty-one storeyed building at a cost of approximately Shs. 30 billion. In the last Presidential elections, 1 was supported by 5.1 million people. Suppose we identify 100,000 rich men among these 5.1 millions and we ask each to contribute Shs. 300,000. We would easily raise the 30 billion. We could, maybe, ask the poorer supporters to give Shs. 1000, each. This would raise another Shs. 5 billion. The Workers House, which we finished recently will bring in US $2 million per annum in rent. This is what the Movement needs -income generating projects to support our political activities. Nevertheless, We need to banish the overuse of money in elections. Otherwise, our politics will be corrupt. Another weakness I noticed was mobilisation, Mobilisation means winning over people to your side so that they support you politically. This requires the following: • programmes on the ground, • okunyonyola (explaining) those programmes in a clear way, • networking with credible people who can become the priests of the Movement • facilitation, • publicity and • truthful decampaigning of the other side in case they are telling lies. If we follow these six steps, there will not be much work given the tremendous contribution of the Movement. Sometimes, however, our explanations were not clear, timely or well publicised. These are weaknesses we do not need. RegionaI Matters: On regional matters we are pulling out of North-Western Congo and may keep a small presence at Buta and Bunya as well as an adequate presence on the Western slopes of the Rwenzori Mountains. We shall also remain in the Lusaka Peace Process, However, we shall not accept this puerile malignment by the people who have done a Jot of harm to Africa in the past. We are conscientious people who are very deliberate in what we do. We do not enjoy this irresponsible amateurism in the matter of African liberation. Economy: In the past 15 years, the NRM has stabilized the economy, reversed the decline, re-ignited growth and reduced poverty. The average annual rate of (GDP growth between 1992 and 1998 was, for instance, 6.8%. Consequently, income per capita grew by 32% from U.S. $200 in 1990 to U.S. $330 in 2000. The population living below the poverty line was reduced from 56% to 44% between 1993 and 1997; and to 35% in 2000. Poverty line is the level below which one cannot meet the minimum basic food and non-food requirements. This measurement of poverty needs to he explained to all of us; Poverty measurement: Poverty is estimated from Household surveys by collecting both income and expenditure data of all Households in the country. By basing on the World Health Organization (WHO) calorie requirements for adult males of 3000 per day, a Food Basket, corresponding to 3000 calories, is established. Then we establish how much a Household consumes of that Basket on a daily basis over a period of time, which is analysed in relation to the prices of these commodities in the local market so as to get the estimated value of the Household consumption. However, some adjustments are made in respect of children because of their low calorie requirement. Costing is also done for non-food necessities for poor Households such as clothing, rent, transport, communication items, health, education and fuel (charcoal, paraffin, firewood, etc.). The aggregate of the food and non-food basic necessities is the one that tells whether one is above or below the poverty line. If the Household's income is below the cost that is attached to the 3000 calories per person per day and the non-food minimum needs, then that Household is living below the poverty line. Then members of these Households are summed up for the whole country and then divided by the total population to get the percentage of the population, which is below the poverty line in a given year. The target of 7% GDP growth rate is not always maintained, however. Last year, for instance, it declined to 5.1%. The main reasons are the spells of drought, which affect our agriculture; the erratic prices of our unprocessed exports; and the high prices of imports. That is why it is crucial that we provide irrigation so that the erraticness in agriculture is evened out. Furthermore, we must add value to all our exports so that we earn more and earn reliably. We need to add value to coffee, cocoa, to all the cotton, tea, fruits, milk and minerals. In order to further reduce poverty and transform the economy of Uganda from a pre-industrial structure to an industrial one, we have elaborated two policy documents; Plan for Modernization of Agriculture (PMA) and the Medium Term Competitive Strategy (MTCS). The latter document aims at removing all the bottlenecks to ease agricultural and industrial production as well as services provision by having good roads, reliable and cheap electricity, trained and healthy manpower. expeditious commercial justice. etc. Once these are reliably available, then the costs of production in Uganda will go down. Therefore, our products will be competitive vis a vis products of other countries. In the coming five years. I will emphasize five areas drawn from our whole development strategy. These are: Operationalizing the plan for the modernization of Agriculture; improving microfinance (Entandikwa) delivery in the country; encouraging arid enabling the private sector to provide agricultural machinery on a zoned basis; providing skills to the youth through polytechnics per sub-county; promoting joint ventures, or private investments, in the strategic areas of coffee processing, fish processing, textile manufacturing, beef processing, fruit processing, horticulture, mining and petroleum exploration. This focusing will be in addition to all the other programmes such as UPE, secondary education, etc. Plan For Modernization For Agriculture: Last year, Government launched the Plan for Modernisation of Agriculture (PMA) to guide the process for agricultural growth and transformation. The PMA recognises that to achieve agricultural growth and transformation, a multi-sectoral approach is essential. We must, however, differentiate between those activities that are best done by the private sector and those that are best done by the public sector. We must, nevertheless, recognise that our emphasis on agricultural modernisation is not aimed at having agriculture remain the dominant sector in our economy. However, since agricultural modernisation will propel the process of economic transformation from agriculture to non-agricultural sectors more rapidly, it becomes a sine qua non of any growth and transformation. Increased agricultural productivity will lead to increased output per unit area. For example, one acre of maize farmed in a modem way, will produce 4000 kg (4 tonnes) while one acre fanned in the present inefficient way, produces only between 600-1 000kgs (1 tonne). This means that you need four acres to produce the same amount of maize produced on one acre with modem means. This will release labour and land out of agriculture to other sectors of the economy. However, increased productivity will demand increased use of external inputs that include herbicides, water harvesting and irrigation tools, tillage and agro-processing equipment. etc. Nevertheless, increased agricultural output will also increase demand for processing, marketing, packaging and transportation of increased farm produce. These developments will lead to expanded non-farm micro-enterprises and services sectors (hence structural transformation). This in turn will lead to increased employment opportunities and greater opportunities for private Investments resulting in economic growth, poverty eradication and modernisation. Nevertheless, expanded agricultural production is only sustainable if we have a commensurate market: internal, regional or international. This is why it is important for Europe, America and Japan to end protectionism if we are to fight poverty. We should develop a regional market. The PMA identified the factors that inhibit, the productivity output of the agricultural sector. These include: 1. Human aspects, especially ignorance, lack of information, lack of knowledge arid skills and poor health. 2. The natural environmental aspects that include limited access to land, poor soil fertility, unavailability of water for production and pests and diseases. 3. Financial aspects such as limited income, low output prices. high cost of inputs, high taxes and limited access to credit to finance acquisition of non-labour. 4. Physical infrastructure such as poor roads, lack of access to markets, lack, or high cost of electricity, water, telecommunication and housing; 5. Social capital, including institutional characteristics of a community, that enable members to produce and trade goods and services, thus allowing specialisation and technological improvement; social relations within the household as well as production relations with neighbours; and membership in different groups enhancing ones ability to save, gain access to credit and information about technologies and markets. A. Operationalisation of the Plan for Modernisation of Agriculture: Based on the above analysis, the PMA defined seven priority areas for action that are important in its operationalisation. They are: 1. Improving access and quality of agricultural advisory services; 2. Agricultural research, technology generation and dissemination; 3. Promoting agro-processing and improving access to markets ; 4. Increasing the access and availability of financial services; 5. Promoting agricultural skills and knowledge through formal and informal education; 6. Promoting sustainable use of natural resources; 7. Improving physical infrastructure, thereby improving access to markets and reducing the costs of production, processing and marketing. The process for the definition of the above priorities was followed by the development of strategic plans and programmes to operationalise the PMA. These programmes include the following: i) National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) NAADS programme provide demand driven, client oriented and farmer-led advisory services that will particularly target the woman and the other vulnerable groups. Major stakeholders are: 1. Agricultural advisors: Role: (a) To engage farmers (their clients) in critical thinking and discussions about their agricultural endeavours and the management of their farms as business enterprises. Rather than engaging in delivery of messages and inputs for its own sake. (b) Empower farmers as partners and give them a role to play and determine the work and activities of these advisors. 2. Farmers: Users and clients for NAADS: Farmer to access information, knowledge and technology through efficient, effective and sustainable decentralised advisory services. Form village level farmer common interest groups (eg. gender, farmer type). 3. Ministry of Agriculture: a) Formulation of a National Agricultural Advisory Services policy consistent with the PMA framework and including farm forestry. Policy - addressing problems of delivery and financing of these services. b)Elaboration of specific actions to be adopted for achieving the set objectives. c) Review role of key players and recommend appropriate new functional roles. d) Define linkage and co-ordination mechanisms to ensure harmony in the system. e) Define and make known to the responsible organizations the legal framework stipulating the laws, rules and regulations administration institutions and/or standing orders. 4. Districts and sub-counties: a) To develop strategic plans for agricultural b) Development in their areas a participatory manner so as to build consensus and ownership of the process; c) Determine functional capacity needs as regards d) personnel, equipment, transport, supplies and operational funds. e) Determine physical resource requirements and their sources. f) Allocate out of own funds at least 15% in order to receive a matching grant from center. 5. Central Government: a) Provide annual operational funds (Non-sectoral Conditional Grant) to each sub-county and district council, to support PMA activities. b) Strengthen technology systems and pathways; c) Generate new varieties arid improved breed of livestock and fish. d)Strengthen knowledge, information and communications. as well as: 6. Agricultural Institutes, 7. Agricultural Research systems that develop the seeds or other breeding stock; 8. The Private sector that will use raw materials from agriculture; 9. Parliament/Cabinet that evolve policies; 1O. Donor Community that contributes funds. i) NARO'S Medium Term Plan for Agricultural Research, Technology Development and Dissemination This programme is to be implemented over the next five years. It will improve the efficiency and effectiveness of technology development and transfer, promote the participation of the private sector in the funding and provision of agricultural research and related services and achieve greater integration of gender and environmental concerns in the research agenda. ii) Medium Term Competitive Strategy (MTCS) The MTCS aims at improving public service delivery and removing impediments for private sector growth and development. iii) Micro-Finance Programme: The various micro-finance programmes such as Entandikwa scheme. the Rural Micro Finance Support Programme (RMSP) under the Prime Minister's office, and other private sector initiatives all form the micro-finance system of the Country. I will elaborate on this matter later in my speech. iv) Education Sector Investment Plan (ESIP): This will include a sub-programme to address agricultural education at primary, secondary and tertiary level. This will ensure that the education system produces a calibre of people that have the right attitudes and skill for farming as a business. iv) Natural Resources: This sub-sector has already developed strategies and programmes to address the protection of wetlands and the environment and to develop the land and forestry sub sectors. These strategies and programmes will guide the local governments and communities to manage the natural resources better for the present and future generations. v) Infrastructural Development: The Infrastructure area already has the Rural Feeder Roads Programme and the Rural Electrification Programme, known as the Energy for Rural Transformation, which are being implemented. Good infrastructure is key to increasing access to markets, reducing production costs, and permitting the introduction of new technology. For agricultural modernisation to succeed, it is important that people have access to reliable supply of electricity at affordable prices. Government will encourage the participation of the private sector in the operation, financing and, as much as possible, restrict its role to the promotion of a facilitating macroeconomic and policy environment while maximizing private sector's participation in ownership, financing and operation of infrastructure. I want to specifically focus on four areas that I believe can contribute significantly to poverty eradication in rural areas. I) Provision of improved seeds, planting and stocking materials including fish fry; 2) Provision of water for crops and livestock through water harvesting technologies and micro-irrigation schemes; 3) Provision of micro-financial services; 4) Promoting the use of farm power and machinery including animal traction. B. Provision of improved seeds, planting and stocking materials including fish fry One of the main constraints of farmers is lack of improved seeds, planting and stock materials including fish fry. Whereas the National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO) has generated new varieties of crops and improved breeds of livestock and fish, farmers are not aware of these developments; and those who are aware, cannot easily find them within their neighbourhoods. Under PMA implementation, research and agricultural advisory services will be decentralised to ensure that farmers can receive the necessary services at sub-county level. 1 have directed that the following targets should be achieved: i) Improved and tested technologies should be demonstrated close to the farmers' fields so that the farmers can see the positive attributes, which will then stimulate the demand for the technologies. This is the role of NARO, the new NAADS programme and the graduates at the sub-county level. ii) Nurseries should be established at sub-county level in partnership with private sector operators for the multiplication of planting and stock materials including fish fry within the reach of farmers. This practice has been successfully achieved by the Uganda Coffee Development Authority, which has established a coffee nursery in each coffee growing sub-county through partnership with private sector operators. This year alone, it was possible for Government to purchase and distribute seedlings worth 3.5 billion shillings through the UCDA because the seedlings existed countrywide. This should be extended to other appropriate crops (such as tea, cocoa, Irish potatoes, fruits and tree nurseries). iii) The privatisation of the Uganda Seeds Project (USP) should be completed this year and the seed industry liberalised to allow for increased multiplication and distribution of seeds to farmers by private sector operators iv) There are already four private companies engaged in the seeds industry. These should be supported so that they increase Their production of seed and expand their distribution network countrywide. v) Extension services should put more effort in teaching farmers soil protection and fertility improvement techniques. Areas like Kabale, Mbale and others will not support agricultural production unless measures are taken to reduce the on-going environmental degradation that can be reversed using simple technologies such as the application of appropriate husbandry practices including construction of terraces or bands, planting hedgerows and application of fertilisers. vi) The Ministry of Agriculture will strengthen her capacity for seed certification services and issuance of phytosanitary certificates to facilitate the private sector players while NARO will intensify the production of foundation and breeder's seed for the private sector. C The role of stockists in distribution of agricultural Inputs: Government liberalised the distribution of agricultural inputs such as seeds, fertilizers and farm machinery. This function is being carried out by the private sector. Individual businessmen and women, cooperative societies and farmers' organisations are most appropriate for operating as stockists for agricultural inputs. What is important is for Government agencies to: i) Stimulate demand for inputs through demonstrations and extension services; ii) Set quality standards and inspection mechanisms especially for chemicals and animal feeds; iii) Facilitate the linkage between the private entrepreneurs with credit providers; iv) Promote the private operators by keeping farmers informed of the availability of the inputs, and v) Reducing bureaucracies that impede private sector operations including distribution of free inputs apart from emergencies. We already have a number of institutions that are doing a good job in this area. These include: I. Sasakawa Global 2000 (SG 2000) which is operating in 20 districts with a network of over 200 stockists supported by district inputs distributors and importers; 2. The USAID funded IDEA project, operating in over 20 districts with seven distributors operating through 180 registered stockists for a wide range of seeds, agricultural inputs and chemicals. 3 Appropriate Technology Uganda Ltd operating with over 100 stockists and 6 wholesalers distributing a wide range of seeds and inputs such as oil hand pressers, grinders, ox ploughs and planters and treadle pumps for irrigation. The success of such programmes is attributed to their ability to develop good packages for farmers and stockists. The farmers get improved seeds, fertilizers and advice from technical staff. The stockists are linked with producers and importers of seeds and fertilizers as well as commercial banks which provide some form of credit. However, we should emphasize our own capacity for seed development rather than develop another dependency syndrome even in this area. The demand for inputs is stimulated through on-farm demonstrations of the improved technologies. Farmers we also Linked to produce buyers within and outside the country. I would like to advise Ministry of Agriculture. Animal Industry and Fisheries, the NAADS programme and the community leaders to adopt this arrangement to increase the spread of technologies to the farmers. The private sector must be provided with facilitation and support to ensure that farmers have access to agricultural inputs if agricultural modernisation is to succeed. Every sub-county should have a licensed stockist to supply critical agricultural inputs that are important in that particular locality. Of course, there should be a seed multiplier in every county from which the stockists will buy seeds. The seed multiplier will have got the seeds from the Research Centres that develop the foundation seeds. D. Provision of water for crops and livestock through water harvesting technologies and micro-irrigation schemes: One of the problems of our economy is the dependency on rain fed agriculture. Despite the two rainy seasons and the many rivers and lakes, Uganda's agriculture gets significantly distorted in the face of short spells of drought. This is not acceptable. All that is required are small-scale water harvesting and preservation technologies and practices that maintain soil moisture for some weeks after heavy downpours. Secondly, small-scale irrigation tools could he used to tap water from the many rivers and lakes to irrigate high value commodities such as vegetables and fruits. thereby ensuring all year round production of food for domestic use and for export. In the case of livestock and fish, construction of small-scale community valley dams and tanks can provide cost-effective supplies of water all year round for livestock and for fish production. Small dams structures may not cost more than Uganda Shs. 6,000,000 to construct. Government is committed to providing resources through sub-county leaders to construct a community valley dams at sub-county level in all areas that experience water shortage across the country. Later on we intend to construct a valley dam per parish throughout the country. Sub-county leaders should ensure success of this programme by mobilising resources and communities in constructing appropriate water harvesting and irrigation structures, Micro-finance: All the micro-finance in the Country will be privately delivered. It will also be consolidated in terms of Government supervision and guidance. The Government will license intermediary agencies per district. These intermediary agencies will have a contact person (Muhikirwa, Gwang or Omutukirwako,) per parish. This one will receive all the applications for small loans, process them and link them with the intermediary agencies. Within the parish, different Community Based Organizations (CBOs), formed according to the various compatible interests, will be the recipients of these loans. Agricultural machinery: In the past, the attempts by the Government in providing agricultural machinery were not successful because of inefficiency. Yet agricultural labour is not available easily. I will concentrate on three solutions to this problem: One solution will be to license private agricultural machinery providers, zone by zone, so that they can solve this problem efficiently. Secondly, where reliable co-operatives exist, they can also be helped to acquire agricultural machinery and provide services therefrom to the people. Thirdly, to continue promoting the use of animal traction. The restocking programme going on in the whole country is good for solving this problem. As far as ensuring that there are private entrepreneurs able to provide Agricultural machinery services zone by zone is concerned, I intend to give this task to the Ministry of Agriculture who should dedicate a commissioner that does nothing else but this. Maybe we need another commissioner who does nothing else but ensures that the major crops produced are processed and marketed in partnership with UIA, Ministry of Industries and Ministry of Finance. Skills to the youth: You must have heard the employers in Uganda complaining that one factor that hikes their labour costs is the untrained labour force. You must also have heard that many of our young people go abroad to "kukuba kyevo ". '[hey mainly work as cleaners and caring for the sick. 110w much more would they achieve if they were electricians, plumbers, or computer operators? They would earn more for themselves and for the country. That is why we must build a polytechnic per sub-county so that the skills are easily accessible. My policy will be to have two windows in all these institutions: a window for the poor but talented children sponsored by the state and a window for those that can afford to pay. This will make our programmes more sustainable. Somebody who acquires skills, if he does not want to work for others, he can become a job creator by starting his own enterprise. At the beginning of my speech I talked about the growth of the economy, rapid though it has been in the last fifteen years, being affected by the perennially poor terms of trade as a consequence of exporting unprocessed commodities like coffee, cotton, etc. I have pointed out before that when you export 2.5 kilograms of bean coffee, you may earn US $2 today. Once the 2.5 kilograms are turned into instant coffee, they will fetch US $70 in Selfridges in London. If you export a kilogram of lint cotton today, you will earn us silk. If you turn it into yarn, it will give you US $4.5. If you turn it into grey cloth, it will give you about US $6.5. A fabric would give you US. $7.5. If you turn it into garment, it will earn you U.S. $10! I have waited for fifteen years for the private sector to invest in any of our strategic sectors such as: processing coffee to powder stage, textiles, beef processing or fruit processing without any or much success. A number of firms have come into fish processing, I am. therefore, no longer going to accept this laissez-faire situation in these crucial sectors. Either, working with partners outside, we shall get appropriate investors; or the Government will put forward its own capital in partnership with private investors. Decisive investment in these areas will boost our external export earnings from the present hundreds of millions of dollars to billions of dollars in the coming decade. When talking about PMA above, I mentioned the Research Centres, which we are now decentraiizing to coincide with the ecological zones of our Country. All this research under NARO is only from the limited angle of agriculture i.e. improving the yields per acre. The NARO research does not even tell you that you can get starch and industrial alcohol from cassava; that you can get nitro-cellulose, (gunpowder) from cotton; or that you can get soap from cotton seeds or paln oil. In the present laissez-faire situation this is left to private entrepreneurs to be the ones to inform the Government about this. This type of research, while useful to the extent of improving food yields per acre thereby liberating land for other uses. it is still essentially part of the Colonial and neocolonial frame of thinking. Africans are to produce raw materials while Europe will transform them into finished products. Therefore, even this agricultural research is limited. The present research arrangement do not emphasize at all non-agricultural research and even knowledge. The Government does not readily know to what uses cobalt can be put. We do not know to what high value uses our phosphates in Tororo can he put. For fifteen years I have been struggling to build a triple-super-phosphate fertilizer plant in Tororo. Investors have not come. I have been also reluctant to start another parastatal because the ones we had in the past were disasters. Nevertheless, I did not know that phosphates could be used to manufacture detergents, which, apparently, fetch a much higher value than fertilizers. 1 was told by the Minister recently who was also told by some business people. This is a very irrational arrangement. The non-agricultural research must be emphasized like we are emphasizing NARO. Government will, then. knowledgeably be able to guide investors and even search for them. While the polytechnics will improve skills of the youth at the pre-university level, we need to tackle the problem of aimless university training. There are so many unemployed university graduates who are cursing the Government for not giving them jobs. At the same time, we have a great shortage of doctors. in Europe, the Doctor population ratio is one for 500 people. In Uganda today the ratio is 1:18,000. If we were to have the same ration as Europe, we need 46,000 doctors. We only have about 1,500 doctors in the Country and we are producing 150 per annum at both Mbarara and Makerere. This is the area we need to direct our young people into. We need more engineers, scientists, in natural sciences and computer, managers, etc. Government scholarships will now focus in these areas. We shall also look at the curriculum to ensure that science can be taught in an interesting way to the young people. I thank you. Ends

Museveni spells out new strategies for next 5 years

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