23 July 2012

Uganda: U.S. Firm to Boost Uganda's Agribusiness

MINISTRY of Agriculture has entered a partnership with Steelheart Internationala USA based firm in the provision of drilling equipment for establishment of water reservoirs for irrigation in the country.

The move is geared towards modernizing agriculture through creation of large scale commercial in Uganda to fight poverty and generate income at household level.

Steelheart, USA were invited to the country by the Vice President, Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi after his visit to Califonia, where he saw some of the investments and activities carried out by the organization under the leadership of a Ugandan, Roger Morgan Dungu.

Steelheart has earmarked US $ 50 million (Over sh. 124 billion) for projects in water, land, works and environment in consultation and partnership with the line ministries to promote large scale agricultural production especially commercial farming.

Moses Musana, chairman, Always Be Tolerate (ABETO), whose organization working together with Steelheart said ministry of Water and Environment has allocated US $ 11.13 million for the purchase of drilling and other machines for provision of water agricultural irrigation in the country.

State minister for Agriculture, Zerubabel Nyiira said government was committed to finding ways of improving of agricultural production especially the creation of commercial farm.

"Government takes agriculture very serious because a country which does not feed itself is no country at all. Food security is a national matter which must be tackled because agriculture is the backbone of the country with 80% majorly in rural areas,"Nyiira observed.

He said government wants the 80% of the farming group to improve productivity to commercial level because the country gets its foreign exchange through taxation of their products.

"Availability of water is great for the sustainability of agricultural production since the climate is changing with time. Government is also establishing a channel for the provision of good varieties of high yielding seeds to the farmers for production and multiplication," the minister said.

Nyiira made the remarks while meeting Steelheart consultant, Prof. Chris Lubwama , ABETO chairman, Moses Musana, Steelheart Ugandan representative, Geoffrey Dungu and secretary Diana Namagembe at the agriculture ministry in Kampala.

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