Breaking

Kiiza Calls for More Agriculture Funding

Top story
She made the call while speaking at the ongoing Conference of United States Legislatures in Los Angeles Convention Centre, Los Angeles, California.
The Leader of the Opposition, Winfred Kiiza tours the exhibition stalls at the Conference
 Winfred Kiiza, the Leader of the Opposition has called for increased government investment in agriculture to spur economic growth. She made the call while speaking at the ongoing Conference of United States Legislatures in Los Angeles Convention Centre, Los Angeles, California.

The National Conference of State Legislatures is a bipartisan organisation established in 1975 to serve members staff of State Legislatures of the US. According to Kiiza, the Ugandan Government has committed less funding for agriculture even when Uganda's economy is highly dependent on the sector.

"Better funding to agriculture will spur improvements and growth in other sectors of the economy that will in turn lead to less borrowing by government," said Kiiza. The budget allocation to agriculture in the financial year 2018/2019 stands at Shillings 89.2 billion up from Shillings 86.5 billion for the last financial year.

Her statement was in relation to the country's unique assets that make it competitive. “Government needs to add value to our agricultural produce so that we are able to export more,” she said. Adding that, “Uganda has competitive advantage over its neighbors when it comes to Agriculture.” 

She also explained Uganda's land ownership system and legislation guiding how government can acquire land from private individuals for investment, or public works, which according to the Constitution can only happen following compensation.

"Every individual is encouraged to have land in their name but there's now a move by government to take over private land before compensation," she said referring to the Land (Amendment) Bill before Parliament.

Speaking at the same conference, the Aswa County MP, Reagan Okumu said Uganda has vast fertile land although much of it remains unutilized and that the country's history involving conflicts led to challenges in the use of the land.

The discussion included MPs Amos Kimunya (Kenya), Curt Bramble (Utah State, US), Madoda Sambatha (North West Legislature, South Africa) and Gade Fundile, the Chief Whip of Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature in South Africa.