We are now going to export beef. We are encouraging our farmers, our cattle keepers, to start looking at agriculture in a different way, because they are selling only when they want money for school fees, someone is sick in the home. But now we want to introduce selling for cash and making our beef export a big industry.
We are going to introduce animals that will grow fast. So that within six months an animal weighs 400 kilograms. Not ours here which take five and a half years and weigh only 150 kilograms. We are going to introduce embryos and push for proper slaughter animals so that we can get more cash for our people.
Subsistence farmers who have been cultivating for only food will now be encouraged to add a cash crop – oranges, mangoes, coffee. And if it is done by the majority of the people we are going to have a lot of jobs.
We are going to have a lot of people getting some income. The 68 percent who have been in subsistence farming will add cash crops and that way we will create jobs. Someone will be running around taking fruits to the market, someone will be picking them.
I understand this new introduction of apples, there is a lot of work – they have to pretend that its winter and they take of the leaves – people will be working and earning an income from agriculture.
These remarks were made by Hon. Joy Kabatsi on 29th August 2016 during the Uganda Joint Agricultural Sector Annual Review (JASAR) that was held at Speke Resort Munyonyo in Kampala in Uganda.
One of the events at the JASAR was a press conference among which the panellists were the Minister of Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industries and Fisheries (MAAIF) – Hon. Vincent Bamulangaki Sempijja, Hon. Syda Bbumba, Hon Kabatsi, Other senior government officials – including heads of directorates within MAAIF, and Mr. Charles Owach of Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO Uganda) who represented Government of Uganda (GOU) ‘Development Partners’.
Hon. Kabatsi’s remarks were in response to the following three questions which journalists asked the panellists:
- Minister in your speech you mentioned that you are looking at agriculture contributing four billion dollars. You mention a list of crops, am wondering, you did not say what you are going to do. Are you going to provide seeds?
- I would like the Minister to give me specific interventions in terms of innovations that he thinks can mitigate the scarcity of jobs in this country at present.
- You mentioned the 4 billion dollars, but there is a concern right now about horticultural products. That the Ministry of Agriculture has only two inspectors and the 50 plus exporters are not having their products verified in a timely manner. What is the position of the Ministry ahead of the EU Review?