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The Republic of Uganda (Female suffrage 1962) Became independent in 1962 after 70 years of British rule, a republic 1963
Also see Uganda Heads and Uganda Parliament
1962-63 Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, Queen of Uganda and her Other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth (09.10-09.10)
Queen of United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland since 1952
1962-65 Parliamentary Secretary of Community Development F. Lubega
1974 Minister of Foreign Affairs Princess Elizabeth Rukidi Nyabongo of Tooro
1993-95 Batebe (Queen-Sister) of Toro
Also known as Elizabeth Bagaya, she was Ambassador-at-Large 1971-1973, to Egypt and Ethiopia1973-74, to United Nations 1974, Spokesperson for the National Resistance Movement (NRM) in Europe 1980-1986, Ambassador to USA 1986-88. In 1989 she refused to be transferred to France. When her brother was reinstalled as king Patric Olimmi Kaboyo II in 1993, she officially took the office of Batebe, chief advisor, which she had been installed to in 1966. When died in 1995 she became one of the guardians for hisson Iguru IV (b. 1993-). Ambassador to Germany 2006-08 and The Vatican 2006-07 and to Nigeria from 2008. She is daughter of King Sir George David Kamurasi Rukidi III of Toro (1927-65) and was married to Prince Wilbur Nyabongo, who died in an aeroplane crash in 1986. (b. 1936-).
President of Uganda/Commander in Chief of the UPDF - H.E. PRESIDENT YOWERI KAGUTA MUSEVENI
Vice President of Uganda - H.E. PROF. GILBERT BALIBASEKA BUKENYA
Prime Minister and Leader of Government Business RT. HON. PROF. APOLLO NSIBAMBI
First Deputy Prime Minister & Minister for East Africa HON. ERIYA KATEGAYA
Second Deputy Prime Minister & Minister of Public Service HON. HENRY KAJURA
Third Deputy Prime Minister & Minister of Internal Affairs HON. KIRUNDA KIVEJINJA
On January 30, President Yoweri Museveni wrote to then minister of agriculture, Hillary Onek, asking why he was hiring advisory services for the implementation of NAADS yet the government has extension workers who can do the same work. The president wondered why “advisory services” should be hired alongside government paid agriculture extension workers and termed this a shorthand for stealing.
Corruption has come to characterise nearly all sectors of Uganda’s economy. Agriculture, which employs over 85% of Ugandans and receives a paltry budget allocation of about 1% has not been spared this vice either. This is probably why most agricultural programmes like the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) and Plan for Modernisation of Agriculture (PMA), aiming at uplifting poor farmers have failed to stamp any tangible change on the ground. Unfortunately, we have not yet witnessed any agricultural officer in the dock for the theft of public money meant for modernising agriculture.
In 2007, President Museveni suspended NAADS over corruption but later ordered for its resumption after carrying out some reforms. Among the reforms was picking six families in every parish as model farmers.
The November 2008 Auditor General’s report castigated NAADS coordinators for spending most of the money on workshops not attended by farmers and doing little practical training in the field. The farmers’ major contention was that NAADS trainers did not exude experience in what they were training and that farmers emerged without adequate market knowledge to enable them select enterprises that have market value.
So when government introduced the PMA in 2001, it was perhaps too early for many farmers to breathe a sigh of relief or celebrate. The promises of PMA to increase agricultural production, productivity, finance, infrastructure improvement, storage facilities, marketing, agro-industries and mechanisation as well as natural resource management are yet to be realised eight years since the programme started.
In rural areas farmers face constraints like reliable market, skills, malaria, information and knowledge about what and how to produce to earn more money, insecurity and poor yields. The effects of this situation are manifested in widespread poverty, food insecurity, inability to meet health and education costs, low crop and animal yields, lack of essential services, large families, and high disease burden hence poor quality of life.
PMA was started to reduce poverty among farmers and improve their livelihood through turning subsistence agriculture into commercial farming to increase their household earnings. PMA comprises seven key elements; research and technology, NAADS, agricultural education, improving access to rural finance, agro-processing and marketing, sustainable natural resource utilisation and management and physical infrastructure. Of all, only NAADS is talked about.
Dr Silim Mohammad Nahdy, Executive Director of the NAADS Secretariat, says NAADS stands out because it combines private sector-led commercial agriculture and decentralised farmer participation countrywide unlike other PMA pillars such as agro-processing and microfinance which did not take off under their respective ministries.
But eight years down the road, transformation of agriculture is not yet visible on the ground. We have no agro-processing industries across the country, level of production is still low and productivity seems to be reversing and people continue to die due to famine. Although PMA aims to turn around subsistence agriculture, feeder roads are still a nightmare to rural farmers.
The contribution of commercial and subsistence agriculture to GDP, according to Uganda Bureau of Statistics, in 1999/2000 was 23.1% and 19.7% respectively while in 2003/4, it was 22.3% and 16.2%. This implies that three years after the introduction of PMA, the improvement in agriculture was minimal or declining instead of shooting upwards. The contribution of manufacturing to GDP was at 9.6% in 1999/2000 and at 9.2% in 2003/4. This has not boosted the efforts to reduce poverty among the rural folk. Facts on ground show that no new industries or jobs have been created in rural areas to attract people from agriculture to manufacturing industries.
The 2005/6 Uganda National Household Survey indicates that 4.2 million households were engaged in agriculture. Eastern region had the highest proportion of households engaged in agriculture (90%) followed by the western region (88.8%) while the central region has the least (60.8%) probably because of higher urbanisation while northern Uganda has 83.8% of households in agriculture.
The rate of rollout of the above pillars varies throughout the country. Some few fortunate areas have one or two small agro-processing industries while others have none or don’t even know the PMA objectives. It is clear that agricultural extension services under NAADS have overshadowed the other PMA components.
According to Dr Johnny Mugisha, the Head of Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness at Makerere University, PMA is too broad to make a tangible impact felt on the ground. He argued that’s why NAADS appears to overshadow the other pillars of PMA. NAADS specifically gives advice to farmers so that they can change their economic fortunes through agriculture.
For the billions of shillings invested in PMA, particularly NAADS (before its suspension over Shs 60bn had been injected), there is little on the ground to match this money.
The project has been marred by corruption and political meddling. Bickering over the quality of products supplied to farmers is rampant in the country. In Mbale, for example, goats supplied to farmers were recently thrown back to the supplier by the district council for failure to measure up to the desired weight. Moreover they had been overpriced. On several occasions, the minister of state for agriculture, Ms Hope Mwesigye, has decried the substandard seeds and animals supplied to farmers mostly at inflated prices. Her threats to arrest any NAADS official involved in the racket butis yet to yield.
Recently, Lwemiyaga MP Theodore Ssekikubo named Foreign Affairs minister Sam Kutesa in the racket of the misusing NAADS’ Shs2.7bn. He alleged Kutesa and some NAADS officials in Sembabule were replacing the supposed beneficiaries of the project with politicians.
The local media a few weeks ago quoted Mwesigye as having admitted that NAADS procurement committees are ridden with corruption and buy substandard products for the rural farmers. She concluded that “this explains why people have not realised the impact of the programme.”
Dr Nahdy admits there is corruption in NAADS at local level but contends that it’s the same everywhere in the country so the programme operates in a corrupt environment. “Transparency International has ranked Uganda number three among the most corrupt countries in the world. So we are empowering farmers to demand the services. That’s why you hear people making noise in Ntungamo district about substandard products,” he said.
He says empowering farmers will help them demand quality services.
As early as 2005, it had been realised that NAADS was overtaking other pillars of PMA. The 2005 PMA joint evaluation report by the Danish scholars indicated that there was much effort needed to make the project relevant and beneficial to the farmers. Concerns were raised especially about the management and operation of NAADS. “It is widely recognised the rate of rollout of the PMA components has been highly variable. This has led to frustration for some stakeholders. It has also meant that potential synergy amongst the pillars has not been achieved. The geographic distribution amongst the pillars has exacerbated this. In some districts, there appears to have been deliberate policy to spread out available services and resources, to achieve an equitable result at the expense of effectiveness and efficiency,” the report reads in part.
“More generally, crosscutting issues including a clear focus on poverty, gender and environment issues, have not always been effectively integrated in the activities undertaken within the pillars. This reduces the potential impact on poverty reduction of the services provided, and raises questions over their sustainability,” the report adds.
Dr Mugisha says lack of market is the biggest discouragement to farmers. “In many parts of eastern Uganda they do not need fertilisers to enhance soil fertility to grow mangoes. The mangoes in this part do well organically. But due to lack of market when fruits are ready, they fall and rot. This discourages farmers from growing more mangoes even if you advised them to grow fruits on large scale,” he says. He adds that because there is no market, farmers do not see why they should grow more when the little they grow rots in the fields.
The other major problem he cites is failure to add value to the produce where perishable crops such as fruits and vegetables would be taken to processing industries to produce final products. “If there were agro-processing industries, government would not spend on advisory services because industries would take care of this since they would need quality produce. For example, tobacco farmers do not need NAADS because BAT is providing advisory services to them. It is lack of these linkages that have made modernisation of agriculture seem a slower process than we expected,” Dr Mugisha said.
Because of lack of value addition to most agricultural products, farmers get very low prices during bumper harvests. Farm gate price of a litre of milk in rural Ankole goes for as little as Shs200. Moreover this price is never stable yet in urban centres like Kampala, it costs over Shs800. Deep in rural areas of Kamwenge and eastern Uganda, a Kilogramme of dry maize sometimes can go for as little as Shs150 when there is over supply. With this situation a farmer cannot afford agricultural loans to improve production and accordingly productivity has fallen.
How is it done in Kenya?
In Kenya where there is organised marketing, the cooperative societies buy off the produce from farmers at a fixed price which is often higher than the normal market price and later sell the crops during times of scarcity. Uganda’s cooperative marketing boards and the Cooperative Bank were killed.
The way forward according to Dr Mugisha should be on provision of simple machines to farmers such as hand tractors which are easier to maintain, honey extraction and maize pounding machines to farmers. They would help farmers produce on large scale when they are assured of market. Mugisha says farmers should form groups and come with one voice on price to market their produce and buy inputs. Egerton University in Kenya buys milk from farmers and processes it into yoghurt, fermented milk, ice cream milk, powder butter, and cheese then sells it to the people.
He however supported political involvement in implementation of NAADS saying that since it’s a government programme, it must work with the political framework. “You need to get the goodwill of politicians to implement this programme and reach the farmers without which you will be frustrated,” he told The Independent.
Of late President Museveni has put his Prosperity for All programme under NAADS and critics say it is hijacking the original NAADS project launched in July 2001. Dr Nahdy urges politicians to limit themselves to monitoring the progress of NAADS and keep out of its operations such as procurement.
“When political leaders involve themselves in procurement of inputs to supply to farmers there will always be conflict of interest and compromise,” he said.
Research is another pillar of PMA that has been neglected. However Dr Andrew Kiggundu, head of Plant Biotechnology at the National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO), insists they are doing great research that has come up with improved animal, crop and plant varieties that assist farmers improve their farming.
Dr Nahdy says NAADS has not failed despite the weaknesses. He says the solution lies in increasing the budget allocation to agriculture. Currently each NAADS sub-county receives Shs79 million annually, which he says is too little compared to the number of farmers in the area.
Repeated calls to PMA Secretariat for a comment were unanswered.