Government through NAADS extends an additional UGX 2Bn to Church of Uganda
Government through the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Church of Uganda extending an additional UGX 2Bn to the church for promoting commercial agriculture and fighting food insecurity, and poverty among the faithful.
The Archbishop of the Church of Uganda the Most Rev. Dr. Stephen Kaziimba Mugalu and the Provincial Secretary Rev. Canon William Ongeng signed on behalf of Church of Uganda while the Executive Director NAADS Dr. Samuel Mugasi and the Legal officer Mr. Ivan Ndiwalana signed on behalf of NAADS. The signing event took place at the NAADS Secretariat in Kampala on Thursday this week.
The MOU will see the Government of Uganda inject UGX 2Bn in the Church of Uganda in the current financial year to implement agriculture activities that will include establishment of farmer demonstration farms and learning hubs for selected enterprises in the province, training farmer groups on appropriate agronomic practices for selected crop enterprises, conduct joint monitoring visits by the implementing partners among other activities.
“We shall use the money given to us mobilize and sensitize 500 farmers and farmer groups in 5 Dioceses, establish 350 farmer demonstration and learning hubs for selected enterprises in 5 Dioceses and train 500 farmer groups on appropriate agronomic practices for selected crop enterprises in 7 Dioceses among other things”, explained Dr. Kaziimba
Archbishop Kaziimba applauded the Government for supporting the Church of Uganda and other faith-based organizations to fight against poverty at household level through their interventions aimed at promoting commercial agriculture.
“NAADS has been very good to us as Church of Uganda and other faith-based institutions. I know this because I am also the chairman of the Council of Presidents of interreligious council of Uganda, IRCU to which NAADS has also extended support to promote agriculture. We have received 10 tractors and other agricultural inputs like heifers, pigs, poultry, and seedlings”, said Kaziimba
He further said he has so far received very good success stories from the ten Dioceses that received the tractors from NAADS and thanked the government for helping the church in its efforts to put land into meaningful use thus protecting it from land grabbers.
“Having idle land has given a leeway to land grabbers to connive with some greedy members within Church of Uganda to grab the Church land. However, with the support we have received from Government, we are going to put all our land across the country to good use”, explained Kaziimba
Dr. Samuel Mugasi commended the Church of Uganda for coming up with well laid strategies and clear structures on how the resources will benefit the ordinary Ugandan. He said NAADS already has UGX 1bn at hand which will be released to Church of Uganda to begin implementation of their activities and will later release another 1bn.
Mugasi said Government has found it easier to work with faith-based institutions because of their organized structures, their ability to reach many people at the grassroots, and play a big role in promoting mind set change among the Ugandans.
“It is clearly embedded in the National Development Plan 3 where Government emphasizes working with faith-based institutions to implement development programs and deliver services to the grassroots”, said Mugasi.
He added that the collaboration with faith-based institutions has been tested with the cassava project that NAADS is implementing with Gulu Archdiocese and has yielded good results. Each financial year Government has injected UGX 3bn in this project which has resulted into an increase in the production of cassava.
He pledged continued support to the church and other faith-based institutions with similar organized structures and vision for transforming the lives of the people of Uganda.
This is the second MOU that Government through NAADS has signed faith-based institutions to promote commercial agriculture. The first one was with the Inter Religious Council of Uganda (IRCU) which is also worth UGX 2bn.