Improve regulatory framework to boost agriculture - Danish envoy
Posted Monday, December 16 2013 at 02:00
Government has been tasked to improve the legal and regulatory framework to provide a safe environment for farming, agribusiness and investment in the country.
The Danish Ambassador to Uganda, Mr Dan E Frederiksen, said despite agriculture being a foreseeable key to development of the East African economies, “Crooks and charlatans thrive where corruption is rife.”
“Today, when a citizen in Uganda seeks state services, there is a 27 per cent probability that a bribe will be solicited and 90 per cent of the time, they will not do anything about reporting that,” said Mr Frederiksen.
Speaking at an award dinner at the East African Agribusiness Investment Summit in Kampala recently, the envoy observed that despite the positive pull factors, economies continue to experience difficulties in fully exploiting the potential of the agricultural sector.
A number of East African agricultural organisations were awarded in recognition of their roles in supporting commercial agriculture. They included; Rwenzori Commodities, (National Union of Coffee Agribusinesses and Farm Enterprises) (Nucafe), Agro-Genetics Technologies, Agri-Vie Fund, Equator Seeds, Golden Bee Ltd, Root Capital, African Seed Investment Fund and Total Land Care-Viphya Project.
In Uganda, agriculture still employs more than 70 per cent of the total labour force and accounts for more than 50 per cent of exports earnings as well as providing a large proportion of the raw materials for industries.
According to Mr Frederiksen, infrastructure bottlenecks continue to constrain farm profitability and deter investments in agriculture yet farmers pay too much for inputs and receive too little for their outputs.