US: Our support gave Ugandan farmers Shs 1.5trillion

For a week now, the US embassy in Kampala is releasing figures of its government’s budget support to Uganda in a seemingly silent way of telling President Yoweri Museveni that “you lied.”

On September 9, President Museveni while addressing journalists at State House Entebbe disparaged foreign governments that he accused of supporting opposition politics in Uganda.

Museveni external players ought to keep off Uganda’s internal affairs because it is “morally and practically wrong.”

He went on to claim credit for the strides in the various social service sectors like education, health and others like agriculture.

But on its social media platforms, the US embassy has been releasing figure that show that whatever the president is claiming credit for is with foreign funding, specifically from the USA.

In its 2017 “Report to the people of Uganda” published online under a hashtag #HandInHandWithUganda, the claims that in 2017, the US government spent over $20.2m (Shs 72.5bn) in assistance to promote inclusive, educated and empowered Uganda.

“Our assistance programs and initiatives are helping to strengthen teaching and learning in Uganda’s schools, to provide learning materials that students need to thrive, and to make schools safe places for children and youth. Reading skills are particularly important for young learners,” the report states.

In the energy sector, the US spearheaded the Power Africa program that saw 400,000 new clean energy connections in Uganda with solar lanterns, solar homes systems and on the grid electricity connections.

Through its initiatives, Ugandan farmers were able to sell almost $ 400m worth of coffee, maize, and beans in 2017.

In the report, US makes a commitment to help more Ugandan farmers and agricultural companies access the resources and infrastructure they need to be productive and competitive, and ensure greater food security for all Ugandans.

“Through USAID’s Feed the Future initiative, we help expand production and improve storage, increase the quality of agricultural inputs and decrease counterfeits, build national and international trade networks for Ugandan agricultural products, and help farmers establish sustainable commercial operations linking to US markets,” the report reads.

A part of the Feed the Future initiative, the embassy reported, the Commodity Production and Marketing (CPM) program which focuses on increasing the production of quality coffee, maize, and beans had benefitted more smallholder farmers.

“Thanks to CPM, 434,979 farmers in 34 Feed the Future districts have benefitted from improved crop productivity and access to better markets. Between 2014 and 2017, incremental sales rose from $7.5bn (Shs 27.9bn) to $392.3bn (Shs 1.5trillion) resulting in increased farmer income and improved food security,” the report further stated.

The report also suggests that 94% of HIV positive Ugandans on lifelong antiretroviral therapy receive their medications through US funded-PEPFAR (The President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief) program.