By Ali Mambule
THE Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) has launched an agricultural census where plants and animals will be counted. The national programme, to be done in a year, is set to be carried out in sampled areas.
Speaker of Parliament Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi, who was the chief guest at the launch in Buna Primary School in Masaka district , said the project was not related to levying of taxes in any way.
â€œI beg you to support this project because it is not meant to grab anybodyâ€™s land,â€ he said on Tuesday.
Sekandi said some people were claiming that UBOS officials would forward the data got to the Uganda Revenue Authority.
Ssekandi appealed to the local leaders to support the cause by sensitising the people on the exercise.
He said the census would avail data to enhance planning in agricultural development.
â€œThe Government has availed you resources and will continue to do so until we get the reports,â€ he assured the statistics body.
The census findings are expected to help the Government identify the challenges in the agricultural sector and enable it make better policies.
The speaker said the Government gives special attention to the agricultural sector aware that 80% of Ugandans depend on it for livelihood.
The state minister for finance and planning in charge of privatisation, Rukia Chekamondo, said the Government restored and rebuilt the statistics department that was in Entebbe because it recognised the importance of statistics in national development.
UBOS Executive Director Joseph Male Mukasa said the agriculture census is undertaken every 10 years.
â€œHowever, due to limited of funds, this one is after 17 years.â€
Mukasa added that the delay had affected planning for the agricultural sector.
The agricultural sector employs 80% of the population. Unfortunately, 68% of farming is done on subsistence scale.
An agricultural census was last held in 1991.