By Kato Paul
At the end of last month, the media reported about the Albertine Regional Sustainable Development Project (ARSDP) which is a multi-sectorial project aimed at improving regional and local access to infrastructure, market and skills development in the Bunyoro Albertine region leaving out agriculture sector the backbone of Uganda.
The ARSDP was initiated by the government of Uganda together with the World Bank funding of $145m to boost businesses in the Albertine region especially along the East African Crude Oil pipeline Route (EACOP).
The project was meant to cover elements like regional access and connectivity covering regional transport, local access, planning and development consisting of planned growth, local area development among other skills access and upgrading.
However, the project left out the agriculture sector the backbone of Uganda which employs around 80 percent of the Ugandan population and provides the largest percent of raw materials to Uganda’s industries.
After the discovery of the oil in the Bunyoro sub-region, the government encouraged farmers in the Albertine region to start investing in the agriculture sector with the purpose of providing enough food for the oil workers. Few farmers started because they were lacking enough money to run their agricultural activities and limited support from the government.
The government of Uganda should know that without boosting the agriculture sector in the Albertine sub region which will provide enough food to oil sector, employments to many unemployed youths among others, the constructed roads, markets and other infrastructures will be of less value.
Therefore, I call upon the government to include the agriculture sector the backbone of Uganda in the Albertine Regional Sustainable Development project because agriculture is the one that employs the largest population of Uganda and is the quickest sector to improve the livelihood of the Ugandans.
Paul Kato is a research associate at Kikuube Youth Development Forum
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