The Budget Monitoring and Accountability Unit (BMAU) of the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (MoFPED) caused a bit of a stir during the most recent Joint Agriculture Sector Annual Review (JASAR) 2016 when it reported its findings on the performance of programmes under the agriculture sector during the government’s financial year 2015/2016 - the year under review.
The Agricultural Credit Facility (ACF) is a Government of Uganda (GoU) programme that was established in 2009. A document that is published online by the Bank of Uganda (BoU), a brief for clients, explains the ACF and its purpose as follows:
“The ACF was set up by the GoU in partnership with Commercial Banks, Uganda Development Bank Ltd (UDBL), Micro Deposit Taking Institutions (MDIs) and Credit Institutions all referred to as Participating Financial Institutions (PFIs) in order to facilitate the provision of medium and long term loans to projects engaged in agriculture and agro-processing on more favourable terms than are usually available from the PFIs. Loans under the ACF are disbursed to farmers and agro-processors through the PFIs. The scheme is administered by the BoU. It operates on a refinance basis in that the PFIs disburse the whole loan amount to the sub-borrower and then apply to BoU for the 50 percent GoU contribution.”
The following text is of a presentation that was delivered by Ms. Agnes Kirabo, Executive Director of Food Rights Alliance at the Joint Agricultural Sector Annual Review (JASAR) that was organised by the Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) and that was held from 29th to 30th August 2016 at Speke Resort Hotel Munyonyo. The presentation was voice recorded and transcribed by Ms. Norah Owaraga, Managing Director of CPAR Uganda Ltd. Photo Credit: Daily Monitor.
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, protocol observed. My name is Agnes Kirabo. I am here to represent the non-state actors. Chair through you, before I start this presentation, allow me to make two disclaimers:
- It is not our sole responsibility that we are standing between you and your fundamental human right to food. It is actually an insult to me as a person and the organisation that I work for, because we believe in food first and everything later.
- This presentation that am making before this house is not of my sole making, but is of the making of that wider stakeholder that am representing and therefore all the questions that may be raised I may not be solely responsible for answering them.
Photo credit: Digging up the grass lawns at the CPAR Uganda Ltd Lira Base Camp, its headquarters, in order to establish urban agriculture for food. Photo was taken by Norah Owaraga.
The onslaught against Customary Land Tenure not only violates the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, it is for the most part based on factoids. Take for instance the following statement:
“Customary land that we talk about, if am under my father, the land is in the names of my father, so if it is Okello that is Okello’s land. So based on my relationship with him, he may give me land he may not give me land. So rather the youth does not have land. The fathers can have the land, but based on the family relationship that land belongs to the father.”