Agriculture is slowing our development – Museveni

President Yoweri Museveni is concerned about the slowed growth rate of the agricultural sector which is affecting the overall development of the economy.

Speaking at this year’s Independence day celebrations at Kasasa in Kyotera district, Museveni said that despite a 6.1% growth recorded in the last financial year, agriculture had stagnated at 3%.

“This is much lower than all the other sectors (and) I want to call upon the leaders to wake up in terms agriculture development,” Museveni said.

Museveni inspecting a guard of honour at Kasasa, Kyotera during the 56th Independence day celebrations

He said, government had taken up a number of initiatives to boost agriculture. He announced 17 irrigation schemes around the country to enhance the efforts in agriculture.

“The problem is not just irrigation and use of fertilisers, the bigger problem is in the mindset. Many people in the rural areas don’t understand the magic in commercial farming,” Museveni said.

 

A World War II veteran taking part in the 56th Independence day celebrations parade

Kyotera Woman MP Robina Ssentongo Nakasirye told Museveni that efforts against illegal fishing on Lake Victoria, many youths at various landing sites in the district had been rendered jobless and thus needed urgent support.

EALA representative Mathias Kasamba asked Museveni to support coffee farmers in the district by setting up aggregation and marketing centres to save them from the exploitation of middlemen.

“For the 15 years I served as MP for Kakuuto, I mobilised households in this area to take up coffee farming. These need to be supported with maize haulers so that they can process their coffee at the household level and sell directly to exporters than being exploited by middlemen,” Kasamba said.

He reported that about 50% of the households in Kakuuto county were into coffee farming.