Government through NAADS hands over 5 additional Tractors to Church of Uganda
The Government of Uganda through the National Agricultural Advisory Service (NAADS) under the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) has handed over five additional tractors to Church of Uganda in fulfilment of the Presidential pledge to support the Church of Uganda with agricultural inputs to promote food security and agricultural mechanization.
The five tractors are part of the ten tractors and other agricultural inputs that President Museveni pledged to give to the Church of Uganda in October 2019. In June 2020, Government through NAADS handed over the first set of 2 tractors bringing the total number so far given to Church of Uganda to seven tractors.
While handing over the tractors to His Grace the Archbishop of the Church of Uganda the Rt. Rev. Dr. Stephen Kazimba Mugalu, the Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries Hon. Frank Tumwebaze said agricultural mechanization is at the centre of government’s program to promote food security and fight poverty among the people.
Tumwebaze urged the recipients of the tractors to put them to good use saying there are some people who received the tractors and mismanaged them. He said his Ministry has partnered with other stakeholders including NITA Uganda to come up with a software that will help to track and monitor the tractors given to farmers in order to minimize misuse.
Dr. Kazimba Mugalu appreciated government of Uganda for the fulfilment of the Presidential pledge towards religious institutions saying it will help the Church to realize one of principles of self-supportive.
“We have put a lot of emphasis on being self-supportive by encouraging our congregation to engage in commercial farming. We cannot continue to preach the gospel to hungry people because a hungry person is an angry person”, said Kazimba.
However, he noted that although the ten tractors will help a lot in transforming the livelihoods of the congregation across the beneficiary dioceses, they will not be able to benefit all the 37 dioceses under the Church of Uganda. He said the dioceses which have not benefited will feel segregated and therefore urged government to set aside more resources to support all the dioceses.
Minister Tumwebaze pledged to lobby for resources to procure more tractors to cover all the 37 dioceses. He promised to deliver the additional tractors in a period of three years.
The Executive Director NAADS Dr. Samuel Mugasi said the tractors given to Church of Uganda were fully equipped with a disc plough & harrow with the beneficiary dioceses contributing 15 percent of the total cost of UGX 85 million per tractor. He said the after a period of 3 years, the dioceses will take full ownership of the tractors.
The 5 tractors have been given to the five dioceses of South Rwenzori, Bunyoro-Kitara, Soroti Diocese, Rwenzori Diocese and Omak-kweri Farmers’ Cooperative.