President of Uganda commissions agro-processing equipment under US$150m development program

UGANDA – The President of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni has handed over agro-processing equipment and machineries for post-harvest and value addition to farmers organisations at Namalere Agricultural Referral Mechanization Centre in Wakiso district, Central of Uganda.

The equipment which were locally fabricated by Musa Body company and others, were financed by the Agriculture Cluster Development Project (ACDP) under the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) with US$150 million credit facility from International Development Association (IDA) of the World Bank.

According to reports by Business Focus, the ACDP aims to increase on farm productivity and marketable volumes of maize, rice, beans, cassava and coffee and is being implemented in 57 districts across the country.

“What we are doing today is just the beginning, we are going to have a massive launch. We have woken up. We are going to do more.”

President of Uganda – Yoweri Museveni

President Museveni thanked the MAAIF for its initiative of switching to modern methods of agro-processing stating, “I welcome the Ministry`s venture into agro-processing. It is good for the Ministry to enter into integrated agro-processing stage of development.”

“What we are doing today is just the beginning, we are going to have a massive launch. We have woken up. We are going to do more,” he said.

The launched equipment and machinery are expected to stimulate local farmers savings and investment in agriculture.

Recently, the President revealed that the government was considering to set up an agricultural bank to enable farmers to easily access credit to fund their ventures and make them profitable.

He pointed-out the commercial banks for failing farmers on access to credit, saying that they are only interested in funding traders to import.

Museveni said that the main hindering factors to the pace of Uganda’s prosperity include the high cost of capital, due to the high interest rates offered by the commercial banks to traders.

“To address this, government has increased capitalization of Uganda Development Bank (UDB) with USH1.1trillion (US$279m) this financial year. We are also thinking of setting up an agricultural bank because these commercial banks are really commercial banks like their name says,” President Museveni said.

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