Uganda: Legislators rally behind agriculture ministry despite budget cuts

The Speaker of Parliament, Anita Among, has asked the Budget Committee to give special importance to the agriculture sector as it is the backbone of the country.

Among’s appeal for allocation of resources to the sector was made during the plenary session on Thursday, 11 April 2024, wherein the House received the Ministerial Policy Statement for the agriculture ministry for the 2024/2025 fiscal year.

The report, presented by Hon. Janet Okori-moe, the Chairperson of the Committee on Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, revealed that the ministry’s budget will be slashed to Shs644.39 billion from the Shs1 trillion that was approved in the Financial Year 2023/24.  

Although the House approved the committee report which stressed the need for more funding for the agriculture sector, the sector cut is attributed to a reduction of Shs347 billion in external financing and Government of Uganda development.

Other proposed budgetary allocations are to the Diary Development Authority (Shs18 billion); National Animal Generic Resource Centre and Data Bank (Shs79 billion); National Agricultural Research Organisation (Shs161 billion), National Agricultural Advisory Services Secretariat (Shs35 billion) and Uganda Cotton Development Organisation (Shs5.3 billion) and Uganda Coffee Development Authority (Shs46 billion).

In her presentation, Okori-moe highlighted several critical areas within the agriculture sector that are facing significant funding shortfalls including the much needed foot and mouth disease (FMD) vaccines.

AUDIO: Hon. Janet Okori-moe

Although Shs769 billion was requested for to purcahse the vaccines, only Shs11 billion was allocated to vaccinate the 44 million at risk animals on an bi-annual basis, leaving a funding gap of Shs758 billion.

Additionally, the procurement of tractors is facing a shortfall of Shs259 billion for the acquisition of 2,000 units.

Water resources for agriculture production also emerged as a key concern, with a funding gap of Shs108 billion for the construction of water harvesting facilities.

According to Okori-moe, efforts to revitalise ranches and support community breeding services require Shs130 billion to advance the Parish Development Model.

“The funding gap of Shs758.12 billion required to address the issue of FMD should be provided, to restore the integrity of the animal sub-sector in the country,” she said.

The chairperson further noted other unfunded priority areas, including the need for additional funding for water harvesting facilities, capital development support, revamping of ranches, establishment of animal feed processing plants, and promotion of emerging high-value crops.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Parliament of the Republic of Uganda.

The post Uganda: Legislators rally behind agriculture ministry despite budget cuts appeared first on Capital Newspaper.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *