23 December 2012

Uganda: Sh20 Billion to Boost Market Access

The US government has offered a $7.9 million (about Shs 20 billion) grant to support agriculture and market access activities of the UN World Food Programme (WFP). The US Agency for International Development (USAID), through the U.S. Government's Feed the Future initiative, will deliver the funding on behalf of the American people, according to a Dec.17 press release.

Officials said the support is aimed at increasing household incomes for small holder farmers across the country.

"By supporting WFP's agriculture and market access programs in Uganda, it will be possible for farmers to realize increased incomes, create jobs by assisting farmers to access markets in a timely manner, and enhance their capacity to negotiate and receive fair prices for their farm products," said Scott DeLisi, the US Ambassador to Uganda.

WFP Country Director Sory Ouane, said the contribution would enable WFP to support agriculture in Uganda and advance the National Development Plan by building and upgrading warehouses, repairing feeder roads, training smallholder farmer groups in stores management, and providing market information.

"Investing more in agriculture to achieve higher growth rates is one of the surest ways of effectively reducing poverty in this country," Ouane said. "It addresses the root causes of hunger and food insecurity," he added.

The support is expected to increase the agricultural incomes of about 154,000 people over two years.

WFP's agriculture and market access program is run in collaboration with the government, commercial banks, the private sector, FAO, and the Uganda Commodity Exchange, among other entities.

The largest funder of WFP's humanitarian and development programs, the US government's 'Feed the Future' imitative seeks to coordinate the resources of partners including the international community, the private sector, civil society, and multilateral institutions to address immediate and longer-term impacts of hunger in the most effective way possible.

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