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Agricultural Credit Facility Performance 2015/2016

 

The Agricultural Credit Facility (ACF) is a Government of Uganda (GoU) programme that was established in 2009. A document that is published online by the Bank of Uganda (BoU), a brief for clients, explains the ACF and its purpose as follows:

“The ACF was set up by the GoU in partnership with Commercial Banks, Uganda Development Bank Ltd (UDBL), Micro Deposit Taking Institutions (MDIs) and Credit Institutions all referred to as Participating Financial Institutions (PFIs) in order to facilitate the provision of medium and long term loans to projects engaged in agriculture and agro-processing on more favourable terms than are usually available from the PFIs. Loans under the ACF are disbursed to farmers and agro-processors through the PFIs. The scheme is administered by the BoU. It operates on a refinance basis in that the PFIs disburse the whole loan amount to the sub-borrower and then apply to BoU for the 50 percent GoU contribution.”

Read more: Agricultural Credit Facility Performance 2015/2016

Presentation by Non-State Actors at the JASAR

 

The following text is of a presentation that was delivered by Ms. Agnes Kirabo, Executive Director of Food Rights Alliance at the Joint Agricultural Sector Annual Review (JASAR) that was organised by the Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) and that was held from 29th to 30th August 2016 at Speke Resort Hotel Munyonyo. The presentation was voice recorded and transcribed by Ms. Norah Owaraga, Managing Director of CPAR Uganda Ltd. Photo Credit: Daily Monitor.

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, protocol observed. My name is Agnes Kirabo. I am here to represent the non-state actors. Chair through you, before I start this presentation, allow me to make two disclaimers:

  • It is not our sole responsibility that we are standing between you and your fundamental human right to food. It is actually an insult to me as a person and the organisation that I work for, because we believe in food first and everything later.
  • This presentation that am making before this house is not of my sole making, but is of the making of that wider stakeholder that am representing and therefore all the questions that may be raised I may not be solely responsible for answering them. 

Read more: Presentation by Non-State Actors at the JASAR

Lies about Uganda’s Customary Tenure Systems

 

Photo credit: Digging up the grass lawns at the CPAR Uganda Ltd Lira Base Camp, its headquarters, in order to establish urban agriculture for food. Photo was taken by Norah Owaraga.

The onslaught against Customary Land Tenure not only violates the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, it is for the most part based on factoids. Take for instance the following statement:

“Customary land that we talk about, if am under my father, the land is in the names of my father, so if it is Okello that is Okello’s land. So based on my relationship with him, he may give me land he may not give me land. So rather the youth does not have land. The fathers can have the land, but based on the family relationship that land belongs to the father.” 

Read more: Lies about Uganda’s Customary Tenure Systems

Uganda’s Unemployment Conundrum

 

Photo Credit: Post Harvest Handling of Hibiscus Sabdariffa Fruit at the CPAR Uganda Ltd Loro Base Camp located in Loro Sub-County in Oyam District; photo taken by Norah Owaraga.

The theme for the Joint Agricultural Sector Annual Review (JASAR) 2016 workshop was: “Enhancing Agricultural Production for Job Creation.” I was baffled, thus, by the presentation at the JASAR by Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF), particularly so the section on “Capacity Building”. 

Read more: Uganda’s Unemployment Conundrum

Uganda’s Agricultural Extension System

 

First, the disclaimer: This analysis is borne of the desire for genuine learning and understanding. It has no intent of divisive party politics as currently polarising Uganda. Credit for the photo of Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony goes to theindianbean  

I have re-listened to the recording that I made of the presentation that the Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industries and Fisheries (MAAIF) made during the recent Joint Agricultural Sector Annual Review (JASAR) that was held at Speke Resort Hotel, Munyonyo from 29th to 30th August 2016. 

In particular, this morning, I re-listened to the part of the presentation which was dedicated to agricultural extension. I have re-listened now three times and I remain confused. 

Read more: Uganda’s Agricultural Extension System

Control of tuberculosis is costly, but necessary

By Prof. Blandina Theophile Mmbaga (right – participating the TWENDE Knowledge Transfer workshop) and Ms. Norah Owaraga.

“It is very expensive to be poor.” This observation by Mwalimu Julius Nyerere (RIP) is perhaps even more poignant today in the context of the tuberculosis (TB) scourge within East Africa – at regional, country and individual household levels. Poverty indeed sustains TB 

Control of TB requires proper diagnosis and treatment among other public health interventions. The gold standard for diagnosis of TB for many years, since the 18th century, and which is still the most accessible in TB high incidence countries, is the Sputum Smear Microscopy. However its sensitivity is below 80 percent. 

Read more: Control of tuberculosis is costly, but necessary

Vicious cycles of Poverty and TB

By Norah Owaraga, Managing Director of CPAR Uganda Ltd

Tuberculosis (TB) and poverty are bedfellows. It is paramount, therefore, that in fighting TB one necessarily cannot ignore poverty; and in fighting poverty one cannot afford to ignore TB. This is particularly so in the context of the 22 TB high disease burden countries (HDC), of which Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania are among. 

Read more: Vicious cycles of Poverty and TB

‘Stakeholders’ in Uganda’s land

 

Lately, dominant discourse in Uganda is dominated with a lot about how ‘stakeholders’ in Uganda’s land are concerned about this or the other. One hears that so called ‘development partners’ are concerned about the non-registration of Ugandans land that is held under customary tenure, for example. 

One hears that the Government of Uganda (GoU) is seeking support – money and expertise – from foreign ‘development partners’ in order to implement the Uganda National Land Policy, thus making the GoU and the foreign ‘development partners’ ‘stakeholders’ in Uganda’s land, for example. 

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Re-Thinking Education in Uganda

Every time a new parliament swears in and it is time to vet their qualifications for presidential appointments – Government of Uganda (GoU) ministers, for example, consciousness of education qualifications is heightened. This is the case also leading up to or during election campaigns at all levels. However, a deeper analysis of what is considered education in Uganda often leaves one baffled - especially so when one reviews so-called development strategies and policies that are intended for the benefit of Ugandans. 

Read more: Re-Thinking Education in Uganda

Uganda Policy and Smallholder Farmers

The Uganda Food and Nutrition Policy (UFNP): The UFNP (Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheriers and Ministry of Health 2003) carries a similar attitude as that of Uganda National Budgets. It also seemingly promotes ‘grow to sell then buy to eat’.  The overall objective of the policy is:

“To promote the nutritional status of all the people of Uganda through multi-sectoral and co-coordinated interventions that focus on food security, improved nutrition and increased incomes.” 

Read more: Uganda Policy and Smallholder Farmers