By Henry Sekanjako
Parliament has ordered the minister of finance Matia Kasaija to find sh4b for procurement of seedlings for farmers across the country.
According to Kasaija, the Government had not budgeted for distribution of the seedlings this season, as the budget for the seedlings had been diverted to Parish Development Model (PDM).
However, the House chaired speaker Anita Among, demanded that the Government avails the money for the seedlings saying PDM provides for only 39% of farmers.
“It is a rainy season, you made Ugandans get used to getting seeds every planting season, can you tell us what plans you have for planting materials together with hand hoes,” Among demanded.
The MPs on Wednesday raised concern over delays by the Government to distribute seeds to farmers country wide.
The minister of Agriculture Frank Tumwebaze, told Parliament that the Government had made policy changes and directed funds meant for the procurement of the seeds to PDM.
“The budget that was previously used by the ministry of agriculture and its agencies like NAADs, to provide seeds, was withdrawn and consolidated to support pillar one under PDM,” Tumwebaze said.
He explained that the same money totaling to sh4b, was retained by the ministry of finance to be dispersed directly to the PDM SACCOs.
Kasaija said last season, sh4b had been released for the procurement of the seeds which were given to MPs for distribution among farmers.
According to Kasaija, the ministry of finance is going to set aside sh4b for procurement of seeds for distribution by MPs, for the current rainy season.
“I want to promise this House, let us go and look for the sh4bgive it to the agents like NAADs so that you can take seeds to your constituencies for farmers,” Kasaija said.