The Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, Vincent Ssempijja has said government is soon banning importation of rice from other countries and fully embarking of sustainable local production of the cereal.
Mr. Ssempijja stated in Bulambuli district in Eastern Uganda on Friday that the country has the potential to produce enough rice for its citizens and even for export.
“We can stand on our own in terms of rice production without importing any rice from elsewhere,” said Ssempijja.
Ssempijja was addressing farmers and local leaders at the new Government supported 16 square mile Rice growing scheme in Bulambuli District.
He stressed that Uganda has been importing rice worth more than USD$ 200m (Shs 700bn) every year and government has embarked on many efforts to mitigate it in one year.
“We are putting a lot of emphasis on getting the right seeds and on commercial rice agriculture. Our efforts are yielding very good fruits and I can confidently say that the country will be able to stand on its own within a period of one year from now,” added Ssempijja.
He said Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries has partnered with big companies like Kingdom Rice, Zhong Rice, Zeos Ltd, Mechanized Agro in Masindi Distric and the South-South Cooperation to ensure constant production of Rice to satisfy the demand.
He was accompanied by the State Minister for Trade, Industry and Cooperatives Hon. Kafabusa Werikhe Michael, a technical team from the Ministry of Agriculture and the Directors of Zeos Company Ltd.