Minimal Budgetary Allocation Hurts Agriculture

Agriculture has been termed as the engine of the economy, where 80 % of the Ugandan population is made of subsistence farmers, yet the sector gets negligible budget allocation.

This minimal budgetary allocation greatly undermines sustainable food production and animal husbandry.

According to the 2003 Maputo Declaration on Agriculture and Food Security in Africa, 10 per cent of national budgets should be injected into agricultural development. The deadline for African countries to commit to the declaration was 2008, but in the just passed national budget, Agriculture did not get half of this amount.

In the 2013 budget, Agriculture got 403.1b shillings, which represents 3.4% of the national budget.

Commenting on the subject, Chairman to the National Committee on Economy, Stephen Biraahwa argues that where majority of Ugandans are actively engaged in Agricultural activities, there is evident economic growth.

Biraahwa says there should be deliberate efforts for machinery, extension services, and incentives such as seeds and fertilizers to support farmers.

He argues that a large percentage of arable land should be used for food production, while farmers should engage in Agricultural activities that profitable, this will mean that Government subsidies are used as a competitive advantage to motivate farmers.

In order to sustain Agriculture, he also argues that communities should be sensitized to conserve the environment, through planting, proper waste disposal and protection of water catchment areas.

Biraahwa particularly points out that developed countries should compensate poor countries for their role in polluting the environment, which is highly blamed for global warming and drastic climate changes that affect Agriculture.

Responding to these concerns, Cecilia Ogwal Woman Member of Parliament, Dokolo constituency argues that with a good Agricultural base, other MDG’s like eliminating extreme poverty and hunger can easily be achieved.

However, according to the Cost of Hunger in Africa 2013 Report, the country loses 5.6 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), or 1.8 trillion shillings, to costs associated with treating malnutrition

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