Museveni Warned on ’Militarising’ Agriculture Sector


dosage this site geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 150%;”>This follows President Museveni’s statement during his state of the National address at Serena Hotel, more about Kampala he would either disband NAADs or shift the programmee to the army sup for good governance.

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In a press conference held at Continental Hotel in the heart of Fort Portal on Friday, the aggrieved councillors opposed president Museveni’s move of restructuring NAADS, saying this will affect development of the nation more than before.

Joseph Mashuhuko, district councillor representing Karambi sub county and chairman Kabarole district Production Committee charged: “There is need to review most of the Government policies and institutions in the country rather than deploying and using the army in implementing government programmes in institutions such as schools, hospitals, Agricultural sector among others”.

He asked the MPs to clearly advise the President well on reviewing NAADS instead of discarding it because it has improved the lives of many Ugandan farmers.

Prosper Businge, the councillor representing West division, Fort Portal Municipality, wondered how the president dreams of engaging the army in the agricultural sector when they have no skills and experience in the field.

“If the president involves the army in NAADS, then the agricultural sector which is the back bone of Uganda’s economy that employs majority of our citizens is doomed and headed for a collapse. The president should instead handle the corrupt officials in the sector with an iron hand,” Businge added.

John Kyaligonza, a member of the Production Committee, however, noted that using the army seems to be a wrong way of dealing with challenges faced by NAADS.

He revealed that Ugandans got tired of Military governments during the Idi Amin’s regime and if the president’s messes with NAADS programmee then people will have a negative attitude towards it.

Museveni serious on disbanding NAADS

In his recent national address, President Museveni described as “very embarrassing,” the performance of NAADS before reiterating his determination to restructure the entire advisory body.

Museveni said NAADS even failed to assist peasants convert from subsistence farming to commercial farming.

“The peasants that have woken up to this need, have had the problem of planting materials and breeding materials. NAADS that has been given huge resources to do this, spends most of the Shs. 203 billion we give them each year on salaries and seminars,” Museveni charged.

Observers say as the country heads towards the 2016 elections, Museveni will give his all to distance himself from the individual incompetence of public officials.

By informing people that the central government always releases money to uplift their standards of living only to be misused by public officials, Museveni is tactfully pleading his case before the electorate – that he has been playing his part in fostering economic transformation to be betrayed by dishonest people.

The President did not mention steps government would take against individuals who messed up NAADS in which billions of taxpayers’ money have been sunk.

He, however, disclosed that NAADS secretariat spends only Shs. 57 billion on buying materials for plantation and breeding and the rest on salaries and seminars.

“We are determined to totally restructure NAADS in the coming financial year. Many farmers have woken up. When they get planting and breeding materials, they look after them well, for the majority of cases.”

The President said in this financial year, although starting late, he experimented with the deployment of UPDF officers in the NRA’s former war zones in Luweero, Ruwenzori and other areas only to be surprised by the performance of soldiers.

“Using only a total of Shs9 bn in the two rainy seasons of the last 9 months, the commanders deployed in these areas, have distributed: 11 million seedlings of coffee; 2 million seedlings of tea; 464,137 seedlings of oranges and mangoes and 1,412 tonnes of maize and beans, etc.

If the soldiers can do this using so little money, why should NAADS and all those associated with it fail with these hundreds of billions?” Museveni wondered.

He added: “It is really embarrassing for all those involved. The good news is that the money is there and has been there. It is just a question of getting the right channels for this money to reach the peasant farmers.”

Councillors Outraged

The councillors advised that NAADS should remain under the control of civilians and not the army as advised by president.

They said the army should perform its major role of defending citizens from foreign aggression.

They said the President needs to return to a drawing board and make serious consultations about NAADS before taking any decision on the programme that has created smiles on the Ugandans.

Kabarole district was recently ranked the best performing district in production department.


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