Minister Tumwebaze prefers in-kind donations to cash

The Minister for Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, Frank Tumwebaze has encouraged donors and partners of the Ministry to opt for non-cash support to avoid the lengthy procurement processes.

Tumwebaze indicated that the process of procuring equipment and other inputs is rather draining and stalls progress of the Ministry’s projects.

This was during the official handover of donations worth USD 12 million from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and Japan International Cooperation Angency (JICA).The donation comprising 5 heavy duty trucks, 22 motorcycles, motorised spray pumps, a pickup truck, an SUV, mobile phones among other items.

“I am happy to receive these big trucks to help us prepare for any possible desert locust attacks, we are committed to the surveillance work. These vehicles will help us ferry staff of the crop protection unit, we shall as well employ them in fighting quarry birds and other things that may endager crops” Tumwebaze said

“ I am pleased with this gesture from our partners JICA and FAO, I am happy for receiving the consignment in kind, it helps us avoid the lengthy and expensive procurement processes. I implore our other partners to opt for donations that are in kind.” Tumwebaze added

HE. Antonio Querido, FAO’s representative to Uganda applauded the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) for being at the forefront of ensuring food security across the horn of Africa amidst desert locust invasions in 2020.“FAO partners remain committed to helping Uganda manage foreseeable and unforeseeable calamities.We have also supported 10,500 households with farming engagement packages with assorted vegetables seeds to enable them recover from the adverse effects of the invasion,” 

“An impact assessment funded by USAID estimated that the desert locust invasion affected food security and livelihood of about 750,000 households in Acholi, Elgon, Teso, Lango subregion by September 2020.” Querido remarked

The JICA Senior Representative to Uganda, Ichiro Fukuhara spoke of Japan’s commitment to MAAIF over the years and said the cooperation has impacted Uganda’s agricultural sector positively.

“The Agriculture sector is considered the backbone of Uganda’s economy, not only contributing the largest share to Uganda’s GDP but also being the biggest employer of Uganda’s active labor-force. It is, therefore, incumbent upon all of us to work at ways of not only developing the sector but also protecting it against any potential threats.“ Fukuhara noted

In 2020, between February and October Uganda experienced 5 waves of desert locust invasion which hit about 26 districts in the Northern and Eastern region of the country, leaving destructions on crops and endangering livelihoods of the locals.

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