By Ambrose Niwagaba Katoto
The World Bank has asked the Government of Uganda to invest the money that will come out of oil and gas into the agriculture sector.
The appeal has been made by Dr. Joseph Oryokot the Senior Agricultural Officer in the World Bank while monitoring the World Funded Projects under the Agriculture Cluster Development Project in Kikuube District.
Oryokot notes that many countries with Oil look at oil as the only source of revenue, forgetting agriculture and end up importing food.
“ what is happening in the world is that many countries that have gotten oil have looked at oil as bring a lot of oil and many times they put agriculture and eventually they found themselves in a state of Oil Curse” Dr. Joseph Oryokot- Senior Agricultural Officer in the World Bank said
Oryokot has therefore asked Uganda to take an example of Saudi Arabia and invest in agriculture to avoid the oil curse.
“Uganda is supposed to learn from other countries that used oil for example Saudi Arabia that has turned some of the deserts into productive agriculture so for the case of Uganda with good soils government needs to focus on turning oil revenues into investments to commercialize the countries agriculture and value addition” Dr. Joseph Oryokot- Senior Agricultural Officer in the World Bank said
Alex Asiimwe, the Assistant Commissioner in charge of monitoring and evaluation in the ministry of Agriculture, animal, industries and Fisheries has noted that Agriculture can transform the economy if farmers are doing value addition.
Peter Bisoborwa, the Kikuube deputy resident district commissioner, notes that Agriculture remains Uganda’s backbone but its budget remains inadequate.
Asiimwe says under the Agriculture Cluster Development Project which started in 2017, the government of Uganda financed by the World Bank has been supporting farmers to improve their production, value addition equipment, ease transport and access to market.
The Kikuube Principal Agriculture officer, Samuel Kaheesi has said that the project has answered the agro industrialization agenda where farmers in the district benefited with smart subside, market access, marching grant facilities which bulk and mill maize.
He has therefore asked the ministry of agriculture to consider them in the next program which will be ACDP II
The Agriculture Cluster Development Project (ACDP) which is a partnership project of the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries and the World Bank, financed by the International Development Assistance (IDA) of the World Bank was declared effective on January 23, 2017.