Donors want resources aligned to local agricultural priorities

A farmer pours maize grains on a road. Enhancing agricultural production and productivity is among the key sectors for this financial year. PHOTO BY RACHEL MABALA

What you need to know:

Money. The United States government has been running a Shs402 billion financial support programme since 2012

Kampala.

The United International Agency for International Development (Usaid) has said all donor resources for agriculture projects should be well-aligned with Uganda’s national agricultural priorities as outlined in the Agricultural Sector Development Strategy and Investment Plan.

In her closing remarks during the launch of the agriculture financial year book 2013/14 last week in Kampala, Ms Jo Lesser-Oltheten, the Office Director Economic Growth Team Usaid/Uganda, echoed the United States government’s commitment to support initiatives that promote agriculture development in Uganda.

“... The United States Government is earnestly working with the Ministry of Agriculture to ensure that donor resources are well-aligned with Uganda’s national agricultural priorities as outlined in the Agricultural Sector Development Strategy and Investment Plan,” she said.

Usaid’s contribution to broaden the financial sector includes loan guarantee facilities with lenders; an agriculture equity fund with investor’s Savings and Credit Co-operatives with borrowers, and technology-based funds knowledge transfer platforms with innovators.

Ms Oltheten said: “The US government continues to look for new ways to support financial inclusion and eliminate frontiers for access to financial services.”

She revealed to Daily Monitor in an interview that the United States government through Usaid under ‘Feed the Future’ initiative is running a Shs402 billion ($150 million) financial support programme which started in 2012 and is ending 2017.

She explained that USAID is working with the private sector to promote private sector investment in three crops namely coffee, maize and beans.

The Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, Mr Tress Bucyanayandi, said there is need to increase financial resources by the government into the sector using new innovative means such as mobile money services.

the govt’s focus
For close to 10 years, the government has put a lot of emphasis on industrialisation and many of the upcoming cottage industries are agro-based.

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