Achieving Middle Income Status by 2020 Impossible – Phillip Idro

2938 Views

In short
The level of mechanization remains low with almost 90 percent of agriculture relying on hand tools. Studies have shown that tractors contribute 1.2 percent of agricultural production Animal traction mainly from Eastern and Northern Uganda is estimated at 10.2 percent.

Former Ugandan ambassador to China Dr Philip Idro says Uganda can't reach middle income status by 2020 with rudimentary tools still dominating agricultural production. Idro says the country needs a mechanization revolution to 'fix its food production'.

His comments come at the back drop of plans to elevate Uganda to Middle Income Status by 2020 in line with a presidential commitment made last year. According to the World Bank, middle-income countries are nations with annual per-capita gross national income ranging between USD 1,025 (3.6million Shillings) and USD 12, 615 (45 million Shillings).

Uganda's target is to attain a lower middle income status by 2020 with an annual per capita income of USD 1,033(3.7million Shillings), According to the National Development Plan - NDPII. This means that all Ugandans including children who are not working on average should each be earning at least USD 1,033 (3.7million Shillings) annually and USD 86 (307,000 Shillings) monthly.

But Phillip Idro says the current agricultural practices are failing the country given the very low state of agricultural mechanization.
 
//Cue in "Uganda an agricultural country…
Cue Out…Ugandans are badly"//
 
The agriculture sector employs up to 68 percent of Ugandans. However, most of them are in peasant and subsistence agriculture.

Idro blames the low level of mechanization on failure by those who plan for the country to get the priorities right. He says even individual farmers would rather buy a new car than invest in tractors and other machines that can ease activities on the farms.

//Cue in; "We have ten million….
Cue out…. everything wrong with ourselves" ///
 
Philip Idro is one of the big rice millers in the country. He believes Uganda's problem is low production but not market for agricultural products. He adds that tractors should be used in land preparation, planting, weeding and hauling loads among others instead of the back-breaking rudimentary tools.
 
The level of mechanization remains low with almost 90 percent of agriculture relying on hand tools. Studies have shown that tractors contribute 1.2 percent of agricultural production Animal traction mainly from Eastern and Northern Uganda is estimated at 10.2 percent.

Ambassador Idro says Asian and Latin American countries have succeeded in increasing agriculture through mechanization. He says by contrast, the use of tractors in Uganda barely increased.

The Food and Agricultural Organization in report recently indicated that in 1960, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania each had more tractors in use than India. However, by 2005, India had 100 times more tractors in use than all three countries combined.

 

Tagged with: ox plough hoes panga