Kiiza Calls for More Agriculture Funding Top story

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In short
She made the call while speaking at the ongoing Conference of United States Legislatures in Los Angeles Convention Centre, Los Angeles, California.

 Winfred Kiiza, the Leader of the Opposition has called for increased government investment in agriculture to spur economic growth. She made the call while speaking at the ongoing Conference of United States Legislatures in Los Angeles Convention Centre, Los Angeles, California.

The National Conference of State Legislatures is a bipartisan organisation established in 1975 to serve members staff of State Legislatures of the US. According to Kiiza, the Ugandan Government has committed less funding for agriculture even when Uganda's economy is highly dependent on the sector.
"Better funding to agriculture will spur improvements and growth in other sectors of the economy that will in turn lead to less borrowing by government," said Kiiza. The budget allocation to agriculture in the financial year 2018/2019 stands at Shillings 89.2 billion up from Shillings 86.5 billion for the last financial year.

Her statement was in relation to the country's unique assets that make it competitive. "Government needs to add value to our agricultural produce so that we are able to export more," she said. Adding that, "Uganda has competitive advantage over its neighbors when it comes to Agriculture." 

She also explained Uganda's land ownership system and legislation guiding how government can acquire land from private individuals for investment, or public works, which according to the Constitution can only happen following compensation.

"Every individual is encouraged to have land in their name but there's now a move by government to take over private land before compensation," she said referring to the Land (Amendment) Bill before Parliament.

Speaking at the same conference, the Aswa County MP, Reagan Okumu said Uganda has vast fertile land although much of it remains unutilized and that the country's history involving conflicts led to challenges in the use of the land.
The discussion included MPs Amos Kimunya (Kenya), Curt Bramble (Utah State, US), Madoda Sambatha (North West Legislature, South Africa) and Gade Fundile, the Chief Whip of Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature in South Africa.


About the author

Alex Otto
“Journalism that changes lives is my goal,” Alex Otto has said on more than one occasion. That is his career’s guiding principle. Has been since he was a radio journalist in the northern Ugandan town of Gulu in 2009.

Otto passionately believes his journalism should bring to the fore the voices of the voiceless like the shooting victims of Apaa. Otto tries in his journalism to ask tough questions to those in positions of authority.

Based in the Kampala bureau, Otto is especially interested in covering agriculture, politics, education, human rights, crime, environment and business. He has reported intensively on the post-conflict situation in northern Uganda.

A URN staff member since 2014, Otto previously worked with The Observer Newspaper from 2012 to 2013 and later the Institute for War and Peace Reporting IWPR based in Gulu.

He was the URN Gulu bureau chief 2014-2016.