President directs Agriculture Ministry on seed licensing

Monday 12th March 2012

President Yoweri Museveni has directed the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) to licence seed agents regionally to avoid the flooding of the market with fake seeds.

“The power of licensing lies in the hands of the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries. You should licence people by region and in case anything goes wrong, they will be the ones responsible,” he warned.

The President was yesterday meeting leaders from Bukedi Sub-Region at the on-going Zonal Conference on Poverty Eradication and Enterprise Selection conducted at State House, Entebbe.

The President’s directive follows a bitter complaint from several conference participants that the market was today flooded with fake seeds.

President Museveni directed the Ministry to be very vigilant on the selling of fake seeds and crack down on all fake seed sellers. He also urged the Ministry to develop a programme for the distribution of decatex drug to famers with pumps to spray on cattle for wiping out tse-tse flies.

Commenting on the purpose of the Zonal Conference, President Museveni urged all leaders of all categories to guide the people on how to eradicate poverty from their homesteads.

“The elite, politicians and church leaders, who have a lot of access to wanainchi, do nothing in guiding subsistence farmers to abandon their traditional way of life. The priests have been abroad, to Canterbury and they have failed to guide their followers”, he observed.

President Museveni who likened himself to the biblical seed sower, informed participants at the conference that he was optimistic that poverty would be eradicated when he waged the campaign in Ankole 47 years ago to assist the people there to embrace modernity. He pointed out that it was a matter of changing the mind set and attitude of wananchi.

“Fifty years of independence and 120 years since the British were here and you still find a peasant in Uganda! This is unacceptable. I hear there is conservation of elephants, of that, of this and of that. It seems there is also a plan to conserve peasants”, he told the amused audience.

President Museveni also cautioned Bukedi Sub-Region leaders against land fragmentation describing the practise as being driven by lack of vision.

“The Bible says where there is no vision, a nation perishes,” he warned.

He attributed land fragmentation to backward inheritance traditions, polygamy and poor human settlement.

“Africa has a lot of problems. Marrying women who produce many sons and with each one wanting to build a house here, that one there leaving no land for production. This is unacceptable”, he stressed.

President Museveni, however, pointed out that it was not too late to stop the practice and advised leaders to talk to the people in their communities on how to stem land fragmentation in order to avoid rendering land uneconomic.

“Talk to the people about land fragmentation before you talk about term limits. Without land, there will be no factories. How shall we survive?” he asked.

He emphasized the need to combine education with industrialization to mitigate the practice of land fragmentation. He noted that education will provide social mobility that will in turn decongest villages.

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