Ruparelia Group’s Premier Hemp Eyes Marijuana Farming

Ruparelia Group will soon become medicinal cannabis (marijuana) farmers if their attempt to acquire a licensee to grow the herb is accepted by the concerned authorities.

Ruparelia Group, through Rosebud, is the leading grower and exporter of flowers and is looking to extend its agricultural prowess to growing marijuana through its subsidiary Premier Hemp.

Premier Hemp is among the over ten companies competing to get licensed to grow the medicinal herb however ministry of health and other government outlets are consulting on the impact of legalizing the growing of the herb.

In an exclusive interview with this pressug.com, Rajiv Ruparelia, a director with Ruparelia Group, confirmed that they have indeed applied for a license to grow marijuana and they have also secured land where the crop will be grown.

The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act 2015 that was passed by Parliament, has triggered a gold rush among prospective local and foreign marijuana entrepreneurs, who are keen to invest in the medical marijuana industry, Press Ug said.

Even when the authorities are still grappling with the idea of how to regulate the growing of medical marijuana, Daily Monitor recently reported that the number of people and private companies seeking to grow and export weed for medical purposes has increased from 20 in April to 50 in July 2019.

The government is also under pressure from the various marijuana dealers to explain why they allowed Industrial Hemp (U) Ltd, a private company working with another Israeli-based cannabis firm to grow marijuana in Kasese and “frustrated” others through “delaying tactics”. The company was given a license in 2016.

The company is also in the process of exporting marijuana, Cannabinol (CBD) and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) with a mixture of 2.7mg THC and 2.5mg CBD for Sativex drugs approved in USA, Europe, and Canada. Oil Risin contains Dronabinol for making Marinol and syndros capsules and CBD enriched creams for various skin disorders.

Health Minister Jane Ruth Aceng has for months been ambivalent about how to proceed on a matter.

 

Land Inequalities Negatively Affecting Development in Uganda – Lands Minister

By Michael W. Baluye

Prevailingland inequalities in the country have negatively affected the social and economic development of Uganda and for that matter, there is a need to review land laws and policies to correct what is wrong like land acquisition and succession, state minister for lands, Persis Namuganza has said.

The minister was Friday speaking at the launch of a report researched and authored by Oxfam Uganda titled ‘Locked out: How Unjust Land Systems Are Driving Inequality In Uganda’ at Mestil Hotel in Kampala.

Namuganza acknowledged that land is a central factor in ensuring human dignity and human rights and that any inequalities associated with land can lead to poverty, inhibit national growth and increase food insecurity.

Land inequalities like land grabbing, evictions and land pollution much of it happening backed by government policies, laws, and political influence, have dominated public discourse yet not many solutions have been provided.

Inefficient laws, disregard for laws, total lack of laws and policies and a poor justice system have been blamed on the rampant land inequalities. To some extent, cultural practices have been blamed for sideline women when it comes to land ownership and land use. Many places women are not allowed to own land.

And with the land size of Uganda not enlarging and increasing in size while the population is expected to increase to 100 million people by the year 2050, Namuganza warns that there will be increased pressure on land something that will lead to more inequalities being registered including the marginalization of women and PWDs.

The environment, according to the minister, will not be spared as evictions will lead to evicted people will find their way into wetlands and forests leading to deforestation, dumping and building in wetlands resulting in catastrophic climate change.

She, however, on the positive side, said that the government has taken steps to address the issues of land inequality through registration of customary land and issuance of a certificate of ownership and tabling of laws that aim at ensuring that women, PWDs and the poor also own land among other interventions.  

According to Oxfam Uganda country director Edward Mwebaze, the study resulting in the launched report explored how land governance and administration contribute to inequality in Uganda.

It also looked at how laws, policies, regulations and cultural practices can be made more inclusive and abate land inequalities. It analyzed land ownership trends, reviews land use impacts and provides policy proposals to address these inequalities. 

The report notes that while land can be an important resource for reducing poverty and inequality, the land laws and policies fail to make poor people’s lives better but rather empower the rich to trample on the rights of the poor.

“To achieve national and international development targets, decisions regarding land tenure, control and ownership must be inclusive and consider the interests of the poor and vulnerable – especially women,” the report reads in part.

The report asserts that land inequality worsens when the most vulnerable in society are excluded from accessing resources to improve their lives and livelihoods and influence decisions about how society is managed.

“Its causes are often historical and entrenched in a framework of laws and policies that government ownership, access and use of resources. These resources include land. Inequality may be eased or worsened by the political ideologies that define the agenda of economic development,” the report says further.

Oxfam further calls for specific interventions to resolve the current injustices against women, who dominate land-based production processes and are also a big part of the population at the bottom of the pyramid. The government should hasten to enact laws and regulations that provide for women ownership of land including succession in the event of the death of a spouse.

Download Full Report HERE

Ruparelia Group, Startimes To Provide Safe Water To Village Schools

Access to safe water by school-going children in rural areas is hard leading these youngsters to suffer all sorts of diseases and living in unhealthy conditions.

To avert these conditions in the different parts of the country, Ruparelia Group through Kampala Parents’ School is sponsoring the Kampala Kids Run this year with the theme: Safe Drinking Water in Primary Schools.

The Kampala Kids Run being organized by Startimes, a pay television services provider, is scheduled to take place on 8th December 2019 at the Uganda Museum, starting at 6 am.

Speaking at the launch of the StarTimes Kampala Kids Run 2019 in October, Rajiv Ruparelia, a director of Ruparelia Group said they are honored to sponsor the event and said pupils of Kampala Parents' School were going to actively participate.

"Let's get involved and provide safe drinking water to Primary School Children in villages," Rajiv said. Adding: “We work tirelessly to make sure we provide the best yet many children do not have the privileges we have. It is upon us to provide for them,”  

Rajiv challenged the public not to rest until safe drinking water was no longer a problem. “Children in Kampala schools get clean water but this not the case in rural communities. As a director, I am going to ensure that I sensitize children in Kampala schools on the need to help rural children,” said Ruparelia.

The Public Relations Manager of the Kampala Kids Run Bukenya Muhammed says that like last the money will be used to buy water tanks that will be given to needy schools in different rural areas.

“We are looking for money to buy water tanks that will be given to the needy schools in rural communities. Last year we gave out over 25 tanks to different schools, this time we need to give more,” he revealed.

StarTimes CEO Mr. Franklin Wang said the purpose of the event is to come together to support children in rural schools by providing safe drinking water. "We care about each child’s health. So let us make StarTimes Kampala Kids Run a great success.”

For a child to participate in this cause, all he or she needs to do is buy a kit at only UGX 20,000. All proceeds from the event will go to ensuring that there is safe drinking water for children in rural schools.

Besides the kids’ Run which has the 1.5km and 3km race, there will be bouncing castles, work out with Zumba dancers, kid games by the clowns and more.

Thousands of kids from different schools and their parents are expected to turn up for the one-day event at the Uganda Museum competing in 1.5 and three kilometers for kids below eight and those about nine respectively.

Bunyoro Farmers Sue Tobacco Company Over Non-Payment

By George Busiinge

At least 565 tobacco farmers have sued Continental Tobacco Company Limited for failing to pay shillings 2.5 billion for tobacco they supplied to the company.

The farmers from districts of Buliisa and Kiryandongo on Wednesday filed their petition before the Civil Division of High Court through their lawyers from Kabega, Bogezi and Company Advocates.

The farmers note that they signed contracts for them to grow and sell the tobacco to the company and not to any other company.

According to contracts tendered before court, the company also extended loans to the farmers in form of tobacco seeds fertilizers, seedlings among others.

The farmers now contend that the company has since the purchase of Tobacco in 2017 neglected or refused to pay them.

Attorney General, on the other hand, is being sued for having failed to carry out his statutory supervisory duties relating to the performance of the contracts.

He is also faulted for failing to ensure that the farmers” interests are promoted and safeguarded in the growing and supply of tobacco.

The farmers are now seeking general damages of shillings 500 million for inconveniences and mental anguish since tobacco growing was their only source of livelihood.

The farmers also want court to order the respondents to pay the monies owed to them as money due and owing arising from the tobacco supply to the Continental Tobacco Company Limited.

Continental Tobacco Company Limited and the Attorney General have been summoned to file their defence in the matter within fifteen days before the case is allocated to the Judge who will be fixing it for hearing.

100 Households In Hoima Lose Property, Crops To Rain

Reports from Hoima district indicate that more than 100 households in Bombo Sub County are counting losses following heavy rains that destroyed their property and crop gardens.

The affected are residents of Katugo, Marongo, Bincon, Bugoma, Isiriza and Buhirigi villages in the parishes of Buhirigi and Marongo in Bombo Sub County.

The rains that lasted for over two hours on Tuesday evening destroyed more than 20 houses and several acres of bananas, sorghum, cassava, Irish potatoes, beans, cabbages, rice, sugarcane and maize among others.

The rains also swept away Nyakasandara Bridge that connects Bincon and Katugo to Hanga Market paralyzing transport in the area.

This has forced several residents to stay home since the only bridge that connects to the nearby Kitemba Primary school was washed away.

Some of the affected people have pitched camp at the nearby churches.

Felix Ongi, the Bombo Sub county LC 5 Councilor, says they are recording the affected persons together with the damage they have suffered so that they can forward the details to the office of the Prime Minister.

He calls on government to come to the rescue of the area residents more especially those whose houses were destroyed by providing them some relief items.

Farmers Want Government To Implement Of Organic Farming Policy

Farmers across the country want the government to start implementing the recently passed National Organic Agricultural Policy that was passed by the cabinet in July 2019.

The farmers also want government through the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries to sensitize farmers about the policy.

They say that since its enactment government has not come out to create awareness of the policy to the stakeholders (farmers and Extension Service providers) who are the technical people to implement the objectives of the policy.

Christopher Wali, a former agricultural extension services providers and also a farmer from Mukono District, says that failure by the government to create more awareness about the policy and implementation delays may delay local farmers to embrace organic farming practices.

Many smallholder farmers are willing to embrace organic farming due to its social, environmental and health values.

“Many rural farmers are not aware of the policy yet the document guides farmers and policy implementers on how to practice organic farming. The government should wake up and carry out massive sensitization about the policy. This will guide the farmers to make decisions on which farming practices they should adopt,” Wali said

The agriculturalist noted that Uganda has a comparative advantage in practising organic agriculture because of its favorable weather and also the high demand for organically produced agricultural produces on the local, region and international market.

On July 29th 2019, cabinet approved the approved the National Organic Agriculture Policy whose objectives are; to strengthen organic agriculture research, appropriate technology development and utilization, to promote production, processing and marketing for organic products among other objectives of the policy is to enhance appropriate post-harvest handling practices and value addition to organic agricultural products and lastly to  strengthen environmental conservation, indigenous biodiversity and sustainable use of natural resources.

The officer made the remarks during the official launch of the 5years Ecological Organic Agriculture (EOA) project at the Ntenjeru sub-county Community Center in Mukono District recently.

The overall goal of the project is to mainstream EOA into agricultural production system by 2025 in order to improve agricultural productivity, food security access to markets and sustainable development.

The project is being implemented in 9 African countries including Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Mali, Senegal, Benin and Nigeria. In Uganda, the project will be implemented in four Districts namely Mukono, Luwero, Masaka and Wakiso.

The ecological project will be spearheaded by Eastern and Southern Smallscale Farmers Forum Uganda chapter in collaboration with other institutions such as Uganda Martyrs University Nkozi, Kulika Uganda and PELUM Uganda.

Speaking at the launch of the project, Hakim Baliraine, the ESAFF Uganda chairperson, noted that once Ugandan farmers adopt organic farming this will help in mitigating the high rates of environmental and biodiversity degradation and also save many lives Ugandans.

“Conventional farming has played a big role in degrading our environment because of the pollution from the inorganic agricultural inputs such as fertilizers, herbicides among other agricultural inputs.

Apart from degrading the environment, foods grown in conventional practice have health hazards that is why we are seeing many Ugandans suffering from dangerous diseases like cancer,” he said

He challenged  agricultural extension services providers across the country to mainstream organic agricultural practices in their extension services this will help farmers to understand the economic importance of organic farming.

Rashida Kabanda, the project manager for EOA, stated that the project has four pillars and once they are well implemented it will change the farmers mind towards  Organic farming practices.

 The four pillars according to the project managers are Research and Applied Knowledge, Information Communication and Extension, Value chain and market Development and lastly Support and cementing, management, coordination and Governance.  

Africa Governments Declare Climate Ambitions In Accra

2000 representatives of the African cities, local and regional governments and non-state actors gathered in ACCRA at the 2nd African Climate Chance Summit, featuring the Conference of the Covenant of Mayors in Sub-Saharan Africa (CoM SSA) which was organized between 16 and 18 October 2019.

The conference was opened by The Minister for Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD), Hon. Hajia Alima Mahama, under the theme "Towards the Institutionalization of Local Climate Action and Access to Finance".

The CoM SSA initiative uses a bottom-up approach pioneered by funders the European Union that mobilizes local actors for sustainable energy access, to elaborate and implement climate action plans. Furthermore, the objectives of the conference were to inspire and enable policymakers, donors, local governments and key actors involved in the implementation of CoM SSA to accelerate the pace and scale of transformational change and the mobilization of cities. It is for this reason that working with national associations and CSOs are critical for the acceleration of action on the ground.

Jean-Pierre Elong-Mbassi Secretary-General of the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa who chaired the first day's opening highlighted four key messages from the Conference i) Correct the imbalance in financing Climate Adaptation to enable Africa to achieve its ambitious climate action plans, with Africa demanding more adaptation finance; ii) Ghana to position itself as Africa's Climate Hub and champion the localization of Nationally Determined Contributions. The Mayor of Accra who is also The Global Covenant's Executive Board member and UCLG Africa's Climate Task Force co-chair, is well-positioned to take these messages to the international stage; iii) The Climate Chance Summit Africa to become the preparation conference for COPs representing cities, local governments and non-state actors in Africa to formulate and deliver their messages, declarations and recommendations at an international level where these ambitious climate plans are now called "The Accra Climate Dialogue"; iv) and the most critical of messages from the conference is to ensure climate finance is accessible at the local level.

His Excellency NANA ADDU DANKWA AKUFO-ADDO, President of the Republic of Ghana, officially opened the Summit on 17 October, in the presence of His Excellency John KUFFOUR, former President of the Republic of Ghana. President Nana Akudo-Addo highlighted that "we, in Africa, suffer the most because our weak economies are most susceptible to the effects of climate change, and our capacity to withstand its damage is low". He further stated that "Africa is the region of the world with the lowest access to energy and the least equipped to face extreme climate events brought about by climate change" and he singled out the work of CoM SSA over the last four years as testimony to the benefits the initiative has had on cities and municipalities.

During the closing ceremony on the 18 October, the challenge of access to finance was further reiterated by the Minister for Local Government, Hon. Hajia Alima Mahama. She called for establishing a dedicated financing window for local authorities to implement their climate change priority action plans. "The imbalance between mitigation actions represents an effort of over 600 billion dollars put by the international community compared to 200 billion for adaptation that must be addressed". The Declaration read by Mr. Bismark Baisie Nkum, President, NALAG also highlighted access to finance as a key recommendation.

The CoM SSA initiative will continue to support cities and local governments through vertical integration and political advocacy; technical assistance and capacity building for cities and supporting organisations such as National Associations of local governments, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs); and the promotion, communication, dissemination, awareness-raising and visibility of the initiative.

Build Climate Response Around Renewables, IRENA Urges Leaders

Public and private sector leaders are being urged to double annual investments in renewable energy to keep the world well below 2°C of warming, says a new report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) published ahead of the UN Climate Action Summit in New York.

With just 11 years left for action to limit the effects of climate change, annual investments of USD 4.3 trillion in the energy sector until 2030 is the world's most practical and readily available climate solution. 

Annual renewable energy investments for the next decade need to double from around USD 330 billion to nearly USD 750 billion per year until 2030. 

The findings form part of a new climate investment report by IRENA that highlights how cumulative global energy investments must pivot overwhelmingly towards low-carbon technologies including renewables.

More than USD 18.6 trillion of planned fossil-fuel investments by 2050 need to be redirected to hold the line called for by the Paris Agreement and reaffirmed by the recent special report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Despite the urgency, current investment patterns show a stark mismatch with the pathway necessary to ensure a climate-safe future. Together, renewable energy and energy efficiency, along with deeper electrification, can deliver 90 per cent of the energy-related emission cuts needed under the Paris Agreement.  

"It's possible to limit climate change and meet the world's growing energy demand by rapidly accelerating the speed at which we deploy renewable energy," said IRENA's Director-General Francesco La Camera.

"Only an energy transformation driven by renewables will allow us to meet the goals of the UN 2030 Agenda and Paris Agreement. Renewables are the only ready and available instrument we have to hold the 1.5°C line over the next 11 years."

"In meeting climate goals, we can also boost economic growth and deliver on sustainable development with renewables," continued Mr. La Camera.

"But there is an urgent need to rethink long-term energy investment decisions to ensure they lead us to the sustainable future we need. Doubling investments in renewables offers us a tremendous opportunity to improve health, create jobs, deliver economic opportunity and tackle climate change. No other solution is as plausible."

Transforming the energy system with renewables offers a more cost-effective path than climate inaction. Every dollar invested in the energy transition will offer returns of up to three to seven times in improved human health, lower climate related expenditure and reduced subsidies.

But accelerating renewable energy deployment requires policies that create an enabling environment to unlock investment and encourage economic development, the new report concludes.

IRENA will work closer to the ground, facilitating projects and assisting countries in building attractive investment frameworks for renewables. The Agency will also enhance cooperation with the private sector, international financial institutions and multilateral organisations.

In support of the UN Secretary General's call for decisive climate action, IRENA has launched a campaign that underpins renewable energy as a practical climate action solution.

In co-operation with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Agency's "Lead the change. It's possible with renewables" campaign aims to inform about the potential of renewable energy technologies and in turn encourage concrete climate action.

How Many Reports Will It Take To Start Acting On Climate Change?

By John Leary

Farmers feed the world. But they're doing it wrong – rather, big agribusiness is conditioning them to do it wrong. Farming methods are destroying the planet and leaving most smallholder farmers destitute.

On the deteriorating farmlands of Sub-Saharan Africa, I've seen mothers, fathers, and children work long, back-breaking hours on their small plots of maize, soy, cotton, rice and peanuts. And it pains me to know their hard work will ultimately prove futile. 

The widespread use of monocrop agriculture is obliterating the potential of farmlands around the globe and leaving a wake of environmental, social and economic ruin in its path. Deforestation done in the name of "feeding the world" is causing a breakdown in biodiversity and carbon stores, making it harder to grow food and contributing to a warming planet. 

I am not surprised by the findings of several major reports from the scientific community this past year. The UN has warned that immediate change is necessary to avoid more catastrophes; the UN-backed report in May announced that one million species are at risk of extinction because of land degradation; and last week the IPCC Special Report on Climate Change reported exactly what I wrote in One Shot: Trees as our last chance for survival two and a half years ago, that we must change the way we grow food. We must replace chemical fertilizers and processed animal feeds with trees that fertilize and grow food. We must diversify, not intensify. This way, we can bring agriculture closer to sustainability. 

These reports come from accredited institutions and offer real, scientific proof that our planet is in trouble and much of the problem is directly tied to farming and deforestation. While I am not surprised by what these scientists are saying, I am amazed at how the headlines convey this as a new realization, and that the fleeting concern they create still does not inspire people to action. 

Throughout the world, more and more monocropped fields are grown mostly for livestock feed. We're mowing down trees to grow food for our food, and both the fertilizers for the feed and the manure from the livestock are having negative effects on soil, water, and the climate.

For thirty years, Trees for the Future has championed the power of trees, agroforestry, and crop diversity. And for three decades, we've acted on that knowledge. We've transformed smallholder farming with the Forest Garden Approach – a methodology that guides farmers in strategically planting thousands of trees, shrubs, fruits, and vegetables. We're combining our agroforestry and permaculture expertise with farmers' knowledge and experience, and we have created a new form of agriculture that meets humanity's needs now and into the future.

In 30 years we've planted more than 160 million trees and we expect to add over 20 million more trees this year alone. We have proven that maintaining tree cover around our planet and across our agricultural lands is absolutely essential for our long term survival.

When trees flourish, so do communities. Farmers can feed their families healthy produce, send their children to school, and live fulfilling lives. All the while, these trees are sequestering carbon and revitalizing ecosystems.

So let me ask, how many more reports do you need to see before you act?

Trees for the Future has the solution and we are actively working with passionate and dedicated farmers to make the changes we need to see in our food system. 

It's time to start changing at every level. I challenge you to grow your own food, eat locally, reduce your meat consumption, and support organizations that aren't just talking about the problem, but that are doing something that affects sustainable change.

Our community of individual donors, business partners, and collaborating organizations has made the last 30 years possible. Their confidence in us has been a never-ending source of inspiration for our team to dig deeper and work harder, just like the farmers we serve. I thank each and every one of you.

Together, we enter the UN Decade of Landscape Restoration with all the right knowledge to make the meaningful global change we know is possible. Our sustainable and regenerative Forest Garden Approach is attracting more partners every day.

As we work closely with farmers on their land, we also share our Forest Garden Approach with the public, giving anyone with the will to learn the ability to plant their own Forest Gardens. 

Unfortunately, we still have to turn away farmers interested in our program because we don't have the resources to take them on. But you can change that. You can make it possible for us to say "Yes, let's get planting!"

John Leary is the Executive Director of Trees for the Future

Small Holder Farmers Find Fault In The Agriculture Budget

BY SAMUEL NABWIISO

Although government increased the Budget for agriculture sector to Shs1.05trillions in financial year 2019/20 which translate into 2.6% of the national budget up from the 2.4% of the national budget in the financial year 2018/2019, farmers say the increment will not support the transformation of the sector.

Farmers are saying the budget intends to benefit only large scale farmers in the country at the expense of the small holder ones.

Small holder farmers  who met last week  during the farmers  budget dialogue  that was hosted by the  Eastern and Southern Africa Small Farmers  Forum( EASFF ) Uganda chapter said most of the challenges affecting small holder farmers will not be solved by the budget as it was presented by the  Minister of Finance Planning and Economic Development Matia Kasaijja  during the budget speech.

They urge that the most important components in the sector were allocated little resources yet they play a big role towards supporting the small holder farmers in the agriculture sector. The most subcomponent that farmers believe are crucial include extension services, access to cheap irrigation equipment’s and scientific researches knowledge.

“We applaud the government for increasing the budget allocation from Shs893billion in FY2018/19 to UGX1.05trillions in FY2019/20 but the current budget may not solve the key issues in the sector because of underfunding of the key components in the sector,” Masudio Margret a small holder farmer from Adjuman said during the dialogue at EASFF head offices in Ntinda.

In the sectors budget (agriculture) government allocated Shs1.05trillions in financial year 2019/20 of which key subcomponent in the sector were under funded.

For example, agriculture research under the National Agriculture Research Organization (NARO) was allocated only Shs81.43billion yet the funds required in the financial year is Shs129.7billion. This leaves the organization with a funding gap of Shs48.3billion.

On the side of Recruiting Agriculture Extension Officers the central government allocated Shs107 billion yet the total budget in the financial year were budgeted to cost Shs230.2billion this leaves the Exercise with funding gap of Shs108.2 billion.

According to the cross section of farmers who attended the meeting such funding gap will impact farmers drastically because farmers in some parts of the country will not have access to agricultural extension services due to failure by the ministry to recruit extension services providers because of limited resources.

The current recruitment of agricultural extension workers stands at 3,827 of 5000.The current ratio of extension to farmer are 1:1800. The recommended is 1:500.This would require the government to recruit 12,000 extension staff.  The 5000 extension staffs were for 116 districts in 2015/16. The Districts have since increased to 128, an addition of 12 districts and 94 sub counties.

The approved structure is 13 officers at district level and 2+1 extension staff at sub county level (2 being crop and livestock and 1/3 being fisheries).

“As small holder farmers we need these technical people because they teach farmers how to improve their productivity. The extension officers are also critical to move research from the lab to the field and to ensure a return on investment in research by translating new knowledge into innovative practices” Explained Ngunga Tabula from Masaka.

Bagaga Ronald the Program Officer, Research and Policy at Eastern and Southern Africa Small Scale Farmers' Forum (ESAFF) Uganda said the continued under funding in the agriculture sector will keep the majority of Ugandan under poverty which is big obstacles towards attaining sustainable Development Goals.

 He added that under funding priority key components in the Agriculture sector will also undermines Government to achieve the National Development Plan Phase II of the agriculture sector.

“The National Development Plan Phase II talks of increasing production and productivity of agricultural commodities and enterprises. Alongside strengthening the agricultural services institutions and the enabling environment however these objectives among other will not achieved if limited resources are allocated to the sector,” he explained.

In their final conclusion the farmers urged government in the upcoming financial year 2020/21 to ensure that   the budget for the sector are in line with the Malabo declaration which calls for African states to  allocate at least 10% of their National Budget to Agriculture Sector of which Uganda is signatory to the convention.

Other key issues which they want Government to do is to involve small holder farmers in the budget formulation process. According to the farmers who attended the meeting, government on many occasions has been sidelining them when it comes to budget process this has left their views not being considered in the final budget paper.

Among the key actions in the budget for Agriculture in the financial year, government will focus more on   Provision of storage facilities and linking farmers to agro-processing facilities to support agro-industrialization.  Delivery of quality inputs and services including seed and planting materials, mechanization, fertilizer, agricultural credit and extension services among other key action. 

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