Thursday June 19 2014

Allocate more funds, subsidise agriculture sector

By Kennedy Kabonge

The 2005 report by the Blair Commission for Africa observed that: African history over the last 50years has been blighted by two areas of weakness; the inability to design and deliver policies and accountability i.e. how the State answers to it’s people.

When you look at the recent State-of-Nation Address by President Museveni, you will see how the government falls short on accountability and when you look at the budget you will realise the policy problem.
How can a government which leads a nation where 75 per cent of it’s population depends on agriculture and where agriculture contributes only 15.4 per cent to its GDP choose to tax agriculture instead of subsidising it as it is done in other parts of the world?

Secondly, how can you allocate only Shs440 billion which is 2.9per cent of the total budget to such an important sector? The Maputo Declaration to which Uganda is signatory recommends a minimum of 10 per cent to African nations even those with few people depending on agriculture.