President Yoweri Museveni has received a trophy from the National Farmers’ Federation of Uganda (NFFU) in recognition of his contribution to promoting commercial agriculture in the country.
The trophy was delivered to the President by the Speaker of Parliament, the Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga, at the ongoing Zonal Conference on Poverty Eradication and Enterprise Selection currently taking place at State House, Entebbe.
The NFFU that celebrated its 20 years of existence on 20th February 2012 recognized Ugandans who have contributed to the boosting of agriculture in the country and President Museveni was one of the top beneficiaries.
Mr. Museveni thanked the NFFU for recognizing his efforts but insisted on guiding wanainchi to improve their house hold incomes.
At yesterday’s zonal conference, President Museveni also received assurance from the leaders of Busoga Sub-Region that they will work to transform their communities from the current peasantry to modernity status. Busoga Sub-Region comprises the districts of Bugiri, Buyende, Iganga, Jinja, Kaliro, Kamuli, Luuka, Mayuge, Namayingo and Namutumba.
The participants at the zonal conference, who included the Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga, Ministers, MPs, the leadership of Busoga Sub-Region and technocrats from the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, unanimously agreed to sensitize wananchi of the area to embrace commercial farming in order to achieve the goal of modern living.
President Museveni explained to them the purpose of the conference saying it was designed to address problems emanating from subsistence agriculture in Uganda. According to the 2002 national census indications are that 68% of Ugandans were still engaged in the old traditions that supple subsistence production.
“This is unacceptable in the 21st century. The problem is compounded by NGOs that preach food security. OK, you have the food, your stomach is full, but there are many human needs that require money. Now what happens?, he asked.
The President, therefore, called on the Busoga leadership in particular and all leaders at all levels in the whole of Uganda to brace themselves up to solve the problems of the people as they agitate for his leaving office. “Museveni agendereko. OK, I can go to my farm, but what about the problems of the people? First, solve the problems of your people as you demand for Museveni to go home,” he said.
Regarding the issue of land fragmentation, he urged the Busoga delegation to explain to the people of the area the dangers attendant to this practice as it renders land to be uneconomic when it is parceled up. He further explained that education with skills as well as industrialization would go a long way in decongesting villages through urbanization. Mr. Museveni also urged them to turn family land into companies with shares.
“Don’t fragment land anymore. Land fragmentation must be stopped by sensitization so that we guarantee the future of our people,” he observed.
On the concern raised by the Busoga delegation hinging on population growth, President Museveni attributed over-population to under-development in the economy. He cited a number of countries, like Japan, that has almost the land size area as Uganda but has a population of 127 and yet it is one of the richest countries in the world. He also mentioned the United Kingdom that has 60 million inhabitants, Bangladesh which is half of the size of Uganda but has 170 million people and yet most of those countries are developed.
“How have they managed? That is what you should find out. How can you be in a money economy and you are not looking for money and you think you can survive,” he wondered.
“Over population is caused by underdevelopment in the economy. Let’s go for commercialization of agriculture for all the Basoga and you will see the impact,” he urged.
Commenting on rural electrification, President Museveni pointed out that the mistake of delaying the construction of Bujagali hydro power dam caused a lot of suffering to the people of Uganda as well as the government because over 1.5 trillion shillings was spent to subsidize electricity.
He noted that some elements wanted a repeat of the same strategic mistake by trying to delay oil production.
“No way! This will not happen. Whoever tries to do it, will face stiff resistance and confrontation. We need the oil money to build the country”, he stressed.
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