BUDGET: Civil Society Roots for Heavy Investment in Agriculture, SMEs


viagra 100mg dosage geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 150%;”>Addressing journalists on Tuesday afternoon in Kampala, treatment the Civil Society Budget Advocacy Group, help asked government to focus on improving agriculture productivity, reducing youth unemployment and supporting small and medium enterprises.

“In the minister’s speech we wish to hear government’s long term solution to addressing youth unemployment through making agriculture viable, and supporting agribusiness that can attract youth and other unemployed categories of people,” explained Nelly Busingye from SEATINI.

According to the civil society organizations, government should put in place a mechanism of encouraging people especially youth to work in order to “earn a living other than surviving on handouts from government officials which are not benefiting them.”

Agnes Kirabo, the coordinator Food Rights Alliance, commended “government for its proposal to establish the cooperative bank,” but quickly called for an evaluation of the agricultural credit facility to avoid any shortcomings related to such funds.

According to Kirabo, the Agricultural Credit Facility should be transformed into start up capital to provide long term finance for agricultural enterprises for all categories of farmers.

“The idea of cooperative bank is not new but if at all it’s owned by farmers then it will be useful. Otherwise the bank should have direct linkages to employment and management which will in turn benefit farmers throughout the country,” Kirabo noted.

“The president talked about the army taking over NAADs but that won’t work out because the soldiers will only look at providing inputs but not looking at how to use them. We need to put in place systems and structures that enable access to agricultural input technically to at least 50 percent of the farmers in the country.”

On the issue of corruption, the civil society said “Uganda has a lot of money but we end up not financing the required projects because of high levels of embezzlement of public funds. The only solution is efficiency and holding accountable all government officials. One of the reasons stopping people from paying taxes is corruption and embezzlement which we urge government to tackle in the forthcoming budget if we are to develop.”

Finance Minister Maria Kiwanuka is expected to roll out her national budget, highlighting investments in the agriculture, infrastructure, health, defence and service sectors as the country’s priorities.


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