Uganda Non-State Actors on Agriculture

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.

I was invited to share the experiences of non-state actors, especially civil society and NGOs (non-governmental organisations) and that is the composition of the group that has met several months ago in preparation for this important event.

Therefore, through you Chair, allow me on behalf of the non-state actors to commend the Government of Uganda (GOU) through MAAIF for opening up the window and the door at the same time to provide us with a platform to equally participate with you (extended applause).

Through you Chair, allow me to inform this house and the honourable ministers that the civil society put their brains together to come up with that image that has been significant in representing this JASAR; an image which we refer to as the JASAR image (applause).

So, that is how far and how little we have been part of this process. We are here to stay as long as MAAIF and the sector of agriculture still prevails.

Mr. Chair, I am supposed to share the role of CSOs (civil society organisations) and NGOs. I am pretty aware that everyone knows that we have two significant roles to play:

  • Providing a supplementary role to the GOU specifically through this sector.
  • The watch dog function

Read full text of the presentation here

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3 comments

  1. I see that president Museveni is talking about Aflatoxins.
    “The president warned against dangers of aflatoxins produced by certain moulds found in food, and can cause liver damage and cancer. To control aflatoxins, Mr Museveni recommended proper food management, storage and handling,” it becomes apparent that the president is not fully conversant with the biodiversity decline repercussions which include increase of aflatoxins. – http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/President-Museveni-aflatoxins-Kamuli-/688334-3417490-15abfinz/index.html

    Again as far as Aflatoxins, they will be exacerbate with monoculture that is part and parcel of GMOs that NARO and Monsanto are promising as the solution. Any Chemical Fungicides on the market harm the environment and humans. So why not use Natural/Organic Fungicides to combat Aflatoxins and Wilt like it was done for a long time? http://faq.gardenweb.com/discussions/2766356/what-are-some-great-natural-pesticidal-and-fungicidal-recipes

    http://cru.cahe.wsu.edu/CEPublications/FS128E/FS128E.pdf

    https://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/organic-pesticides-zmaz94fmzraw

    Using the leaf extract of the ornamental plant Impatiens balsamina as a cure for the deadly Fusarium banana wilt, Davao teen wins in Intel Fair with cure for banana disease – http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/312581/scitech/science/davao-teen-wins-in-intel-fair-with-cure-for-banana-disease

    Note: To preserve Beans, maize etc from being infested with weevils, my mother never used chemicals. Ash is all she used. Mixed Ash with crops/seeds and stored them for years safely and when time to eat them came, just washed ash off. There you had a meal free of toxins from any chemicals or aflatoxins.

    Here is untold story: “Emphasizing on dangers Aflatoxins which could be easily handled by other means, is a new tactic of making Monsanto sound as if it has solutions to combating root causes of diseases killing poor Africans after being kicked out out of Burkina Faso for creating more problems than solutions.”

    Analyze the second sentence in the first paragraph of the linked article by Monsanto’s researcher, Dr. Bruce Hammond, which goes as follows: “Produced (aflatoxins) by certain fungi that grow on corn, this contaminant is a known human carcinogen that especially threatens food safety in the developing world and can potentially cause the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars in the United States each year.”

    Then check out this in the third paragraph, “The new varieties could contribute to the reduction of the worldwide threat of the deadly toxin, improve food quality in developing countries and increase corn yield for food and in the United States.” – https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-04/acs-ffr031108.php

    Very ironic that Monsanto’s employee says (3rd paragraph from the bottom of the linked article) that:

    “These preliminary results are encouraging, and we look forward to more trials performed under a variety of environmental conditions to show that these reductions are reproducible,” said Hammond. – https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-04/acs-ffr031108.php

    And last year Dr. Kiggundu says (fourth paragraph in the linked article) that: “We’ve tested them in the field twice, and they still hold to that resistance. We are going to go to the next level and test these plants in different areas in Uganda, so that we see that there’s no environmental influence on the expression or the efficacy of those genes.” – http://www.monitor.co.ug/Magazines/Farming/Farmers-tell-government-to-give-GMOs-a-chance/689860-2588424-vxdsuuz/index.html

    To divert the public from such failures as, “VORACIOUS WORM EVOLVES TO EAT BIOTECH CORN ENGINEERED TO KILL IT,”- https://www.wired.com/2014/03/rootworm-resistance-bt-corn/

    and, “African caterpillars resistant to GM maize” – https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130919140742.htm

    Monsanto is left with no choice but to talk of solving the problem of aflatoxins in corn which may combat borer worm as a secondary benefit of their new GMO corn!

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  2. Norah, thanks again for bringing us this great speech from Ms. Agnes Kirabo.

    Agnes, kudos for not shying away from sensitive critical issues that need to be addressed, doing so both diplomatically and with honesty. Your suggestion of looking within to find solutions that pertain to our problems rather than looking without to imitate developed nations is the way to go because as you mentioned, we have different cultures, while in a developed nation cattle are raised for only one purpose and that is for financial gains, while in some of our cultures cattle are looked at as prestige.
    My suggestion is that you expand on each of those topics which you couldn’t do due to time constraints placed upon you, and post the article on a website, please.

    Among many critical points you made is “Consensus as far as Research Agenda is concerned.”

    Agnes, let me mention that for those who say that “We may have to invest more on quality education so that we can have people who can competently use their brains rather than the hoes,” I would like to know of any agricultural invented tool by those using their brains competently that can till such a terrain as this that produces most of the food eaten allover Uganda and beyond using nothing but a hoe: http://www.hulutrip.com/news/201601/238065.html

    For more details: https://bedsidereadings.com

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  3. […] UGANDA NON-STATE ACTORS ON AGRICULTURE […]

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