Government through a partnership with the World Bank is investing 150 million dollars in the Agriculture Cluster Development project which is implemented in 57 districts, grouped into twelve geographical clusters, with each cluster consisting of three to seven districts.
This was announced by the Minister of Agriculture, Animal, Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) Vincent Sempijja as he addressed reporters at Uganda Media Centre on Thursday.
Sempijja said that the Agriculture Ministry is one of the key Ministries at the forefront of transforming Uganda into a modern and prosperous country by 2040, adding that the sector makes a significant contribution of 22% to the National Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and a key source of raw materials for Uganda’s manufacturing sector.
“In the financial year 2018/2019, agri-based products accounted for 45% of Uganda’s industrial exports. Under the third National Development Plan (NDP III), Agriculture is expected to contribute to wealth creation and employment through actions aimed at the development of the value chains of the twelve priority crops and four strategic commodities. The blueprint for attaining this is the Agriculture sector strategic plan,” he said.
Sempijja announced that President Museveni will on Saturday 10th October 2020 at the Agricultural Mechanisation Center, Namalere handover a dummy cheque of 60 billion shillings and flag off post-harvest and value addition equipment and machinery to beneficiary farmer organizations.
STATUS OF POST HARVEST AND VALUE ADDITION INFRASTRUCTURE AND FACILITIES
Sempijja said that marching grants of up to 75,000 dollars supporting 67% of required community investment are provided to farmer organizations to acquire post-harvest and value addition infrastructure and facilities.
“To date, the Ministry has signed grant agreements with 193 selected farmer organizations from 14 pilot districts and approved additional 378 farmer organizations who are being prepared for grant agreement signing. As of September 30, 2020, Government had disbursed 21.7 billion to 111 beneficiaries in the pilot 24 districts,” Sempijja said.
The community investment is meant to support farmers to undertake bulking, value addition and collective marketing of quality produce for better prices.
There are nine different types of investment valued at 34.9 billion shillings and they include storage facilities valued at 12.7 billion that have benefited 102 farmer organizations, machine shelter valued at 5.4 billion benefiting 78 farmer organizations, valued addition equipment valued at 7.3 billion shillings benefiting 96 famer organizations and solar dryers valued at 455 million shillings benefiting 16 farmer organizations.
Others include; moisture metres valued at 138 million shillings benefiting 36 farmer organizations, weighing scales valued at 150 million shillings benefiting 33 farmer organizations, three phase power connections valued at 1.4 billion shillings benefiting 26 farmer organizations, accessories (computers, generators, capacity building, land) valued at 5.6 billion shillings and environmental and social safeguards valued at 1.74 billion shillings.
The farmer organizations so far supported are in Kalungu, Ntungamo, Nebbi, Amuru and Iganga.