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Museveni was addressing leaders from Kigezi Sub-Region Monday during the ongoing Zonal Conference on Poverty Eradication and Enterprise Selection at State House, Entebbe. The 3-week programme kicked off earlier this month.
Museveni said that while Uganda’s economy has been steadily growing since 1986 when the NRM government took power, there is still a big challenge facing the people as 68% of the homesteads in country, in accordance with the 2002 national census, are still engaged in subsistence production something he said should be addressed urgently.
He criticized the leaders for failing to educate and sensitize the people they lead on the necessary steps and actions to take in order to fight household poverty and increase household income.
“I think it is criminal to conserve peasants for the 2012. If you know that in a modern economy to have money is necessary, how can you not educate your people on how to have money?” he wondered.
The President, therefore, urged the leaders to help and teach the masses on what should be done to fit in the modern money economy world adding that this will help the leaders themselves because they are themselves end up being internally displaced for fear of going back in their villages where they meet a lot of demands from the local people on account of poverty-related problems.
Museveni emphasized that the masses should be guided on enterprises’ selection that command big international markets so that farmers are able to benefit from their production activities.
The President also expressed his disquiet over land fragmentation activities and stressed the need to have a planned way of settlement.
He said that the practice of land fragmentation must stop forthwith in order to ensure that land is not further rendered uneconomic.
Museveni urged the middle class to come out and help in the nurturing and development of the culture of saving to ensure that they can ably support what the government is doing to boost social development.
He also called for guidance of the youth to ensure their appreciation of the value of production to create wealth.
The Minister for Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, Hon. Tress Buchanayandi reported that the Ministry is determined to fight and banish household poverty in order to cause socio-economic transformation.