What you need to know:
- President Museveni who has been at the helm of Uganda’s leadership since 1986 believes that 45 million people estimated to be his country’s total population have the ability to feed a population equivalent to the size of Pakistan, Nigeria or Brazil, among others.
President Museveni has said Uganda’s private sector is slowly introducing large commercial farming to feed the East African region and the rest of the world, even as hunger continues to stalk north eastern part of the country where it claimed the lives of at least at least 2,207 citizens in the restive Karamoja sub region last year.
The 2022 Human Rights and Freedoms report released by Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) in May 2023 is littered with hundreds of deaths registered in the mineral-rich Karamoja sub region due to starvation and hunger-associated illness.
However, Mr Museveni who has been at the helm of Uganda’s leadership since 1986 believes that 45 million people estimated to be his country’s total population have the ability to feed a population equivalent to the size of Pakistan, Nigeria or Brazil, among others.
“We are only 45 million people but with the ability to feed 200 million people and more given the fertile lands and the increasing technical know-how of our young people,” the president said while meeting a group of officials from the Presidential Advisory Committee on Exports and Industrial Development (PACEID) that promotes value addition, and marketing Uganda's products abroad led by his son-in-law, Mr Odrek Rwabwogo, at Nakasero State Lodge.
According to the president, Uganda is also in the large emerging market of East Africa and the greater African common market which is an area of 1.4 billion people now.
During the Tuesday meeting attended by the Serbian Minister of Trade, Tomislav Momirovic, Mr Museveni called upon the government and people of the Republic of Serbia to support Uganda's flourishing agricultural sector and assured them of all incentives on land, taxes and access to the larger market of Africa, adding that Uganda produces almost any agricultural commodity anyone can name on earth; ranging from fruits and vegetables, meats, dairy products, nuts and grains as well as the essential vegetable oils.
“I am delighted to introduce to you the organic, fresh in nutrients agricultural products from Uganda. Our products are grown on smallholder farms with very much care about the preparation because that is what we eat and it is also part of the heritages of families,” Mr Museveni noted.
However, during a recent visit by our reporters to the restive mineral-rich Karamoja sub region where hundreds of citizens succumbed to hunger and starvation-related illnesses last year, women and children were found harvesting leaves and nuts for food.
According to the president, Uganda is interested in partnering with Serbian companies to invest more in the agriculture sector in the East African nation.
Mr Museveni lauded his Serbian counterpart, Aleksandar Vučić for sending his Minister of Trade to Uganda to deliver a special message, inviting him to the Patriotic Republic of Serbia.
“I will be coming with a delegation of 60 companies and business people who will bring you food and other products,” Mr Museveni said, adding that he was happy Serbia, with an estimated population of about 6.8 million people, had already expressed interest in Uganda’s pineapples, coffee, grains, flowers, dairy and banana products.
Uganda has had bilateral relationships with the former Yugoslavia Republic since 1963, according to government officials.
The president asked the national carriers, Uganda Airlines to initiate a partnership with Air Serbia so that the two establishments can fast track business, tourism and personnel exchanges.