The Minister of Finance, Hon Matia Kasaija while reading the 2018/19 financial year Budget at the Kampala Serena Hotel today said 68.9% of Ugandan Households remain engaged in the subsistence economy.
These households are highly vulnerable to risks such as drought that results from climate change. 43% of these households are engaged in subsistence agriculture, producing what they consume.
Whereas income per person has increased, inequality between rural and urban areas has risen with rural poverty rising from 22.8% in 2013 to 25.8% in 2017, against a marginal increase in urban poverty from 9.3% to 9.4% over the same period.
Agricultural sector growth has been low, growing at an average annual growth rate of less than 2 % over the last 25 years, compared to population growth of 3% annually.
Strategy in next financial year:
The Minister says commercializing agriculture raises incomes of Uganda households, addresses the challenge of subsistence, and enhances agricultural productivity, as farmers integrate with agro-manufacturing industries. Integration between agriculture and manufacturing boosts the supply and reliability of agricultural raw materials for the industrial sector; creating jobs for non-farming communities. This will entail the following:-
Organizing farmers into producer cooperatives or groups linked to nucleus commercial farmers who will be encouraged to add value to farmers’ produce, put up efficient storage and minimize post-harvest losses;
Providing agricultural extension services to improve farming practices and increasing the uptake of appropriate research and technologies;
Reducing reliance on rain-fed agriculture and mitigating impact of climate change through irrigation, including use of solar powered irrigation pumps, and rain water harvesting;
Completing the rural electrification programme to rural growth centers;
Strengthening enforcement of regulations for standards and quality assurance;
Facilitating market access for agricultural products through export development;
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