President Museveni has said the country’s Agriculture industry has remained largely undisrupted by the COVID-19 crisis unlike what he termed as “economy of leisure and pleasure” such as night clubs, tourism among others that have been hit hard.
While delivering his State of the Nation Address at State House Entebbe on Thursday, Museveni said Agriculture exports are still earning for Uganda despite the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic that made almost all countries on earth shut their International borders in a bid to contain it’s widespread.
“We have a lot of Agriculture products for food security and for commerce in form of bananas, maize, beans, Irish potatoes, cassava, coffee, tea, cotton, cocoa, milk, beef, fish, poultry, eggs, flowers etc,” said Museveni.
Apart from feeding Ugandans, the agriculture products he said earned Uganda 2 billion dollars for the year 2019.
He added that even under COVID-19 lockdown, Agriculture products have continued to earn millions of dollars for Uganda.
In March 2020, he said coffee brought in 45.78 million dollars, in April it brought in 36.9 million dollars while tea brought in 5 million dollars in March and 6 million dollars in April.
“That is during the time of the lockdown,” he said.
Fish in March brought in 15 million dollars and in April it brought in about 7 million dollars.
Maize in March brought in 10 million dollars and 6 million in April.
“Our Agriculture is therefore not only feeding us almost 100% but also earning dollars for us of the magnitude of 2 billion dollars a year,” he said.
Although the vulnerable portions of the economy have collapsed, Museveni said the “real economy of Agriculture and Industry” is standing and expanding.
“For the last few months of this crisis of the virus (COVID-19) by March 2020, we had only two factories known as Saraya East Africa limited and Luweero industries making sanitizers. We now have 107 factories. So, in the lockdown, factories are expanding,” Museveni added.
He also noted that by March this year, there was no factory making masks in the country in the wake by global shortage of masks.
As a result he said that multiple factories have been certified to manufacture face masks.
“Now we have factories making the masks. We received requests from 61 factories but only 10 have been certified.”
The President further said that there was a shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) but some factories including Mulwana have managed to solve the challenge and are now producing PPEs.
Museveni noted that ICT sector is instrumental and employing 1.3 million Ugandans with 380 companies engaged in Information Technology. These he said are in telecommunication, broadcasting among others.
“Therefore, these are sectors of the economy that will not easily collapse of the Coronavirus.”