Commercial agriculture is done in stages. You have those who are involved in production – you have the farm workers; those involved in processing; those involved in agri-business – selling pesticides; you have the produce dealers; you have the transporters, storage; and the experts. You also have financiers and exporters. Agriculture is one sector that can spur jobs.
We must have commercial production. We must take deliberate action not only in the interventions, but also in the attitudes. You find people who have received seeds from Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) and you ask them what are you doing? They tell you we are just passing time in agriculture.
So we need to address the issue of attitude of our people if they are going to go into serious agriculture. As a ministry we have to deliver a complete package. For example now, under OWC, they give out those seeds without fertilisers.
These remarks were made by Hon. Syda Bbumba on 29th August 2016 during the Uganda Joint Agricultural Sector Annual Review (JASAR) that was held at Speke Resort Munyonyo in Kampala in Uganda.
One of the events at the JASAR was a press conference among which the panellists were the Minister of Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industries and Fisheries (MAAIF) – Hon. Vincent Bamulangaki Sempijja, Hon. Bbumba, Other senior government officials – including heads of directorates within MAAIF, and Mr. Charles Owach of Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO Uganda) who represented Government of Uganda (GOU) ‘Development Partners’.
Hon. Bbumba’s remarks were in response to the following three questions which journalists asked the panellists:
- Minister in your speech you mentioned that you are looking at agriculture contributing four billion dollars. You mention a list of crops, am wondering, you did not say what you are going to do. Are you going to provide seeds?
- I would like the Minister to give me specific interventions in terms of innovations that he thinks can mitigate the scarcity of jobs in this country at present.
- You mentioned the 4 billion dollars, but there is a concern right now about horticultural products. That the Ministry of Agriculture has only two inspectors and the 50 plus exporters are not having their products verified in a timely manner. What is the position of the Ministry ahead of the European Union (EU) Review?