Govt asks investors to focus on agriculture
By Prossy Nandudu
Government has asked investors to stop branding the agricultural sector as a risky area to invest if the country is to address the key destabilizing challenge of agricultural risks.
The call was made by the Minister of State for Animal Industry, Bright Rwamirama while officiating at a workshop on agricultural risk management at the Imperial Royale hotel in Kampala.
He said that many investors have been dodging to invest in the sector which employs the largest population of Ugandans claiming that the agricultural sector is risky thus cannot easily give back returns.
He admitted that sometimes there may be production risks which may be taken for granted until calamity strikes but planning beforehand can improve the situation.
“We need to do business differently, take a proactive approach, plan beforehand by identifying the kind of risks we face and integrate adequate tools to manage agricultural risks and uncertainties,” added Rwamirama.
Rwamirama said that due to risks associated with agriculture, the last few years have seen significant increase in prices of imported foods such as rice and wheat and these are projected to continue rising over time.
The minister added that this has affected households that are net food buyers because of the increasing prices which he said his ministry is committed to reverse.
“Anything that we can do to manage risks associated with the implementation of the DSIP we shall handle,” added Rwamirama.
The workshop organised by the Ministry of Agriculture and funded by African Union through NEPAD is aimed at integrating price and food security risk management policies and tools in plans in East African and IGAD member countries.
The Principal Programme officer New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), Mariam Sow Soumare said that for a country to increase profit from the agricultural sector there is need to manage risks.
The Food and Agriculture country representative (FAO) Alhaji Jallow added that addressing instability in policy and price is essential in the accelerating sustainable growth of agricultural products and productivity and maximizing agricultural sector contribution to people’s income and livelihoods. Newvision