Government urged to change farmers’ attitudes

Government should focus on change of attitude of farmers in order to attain the desired agriculture-led economic growth and national development, urged Rhoda Tumusiime, Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Economy, African Union (AU), while meeting a delegation from Uganda in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The delegation led by Vincent Rubarema, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, was attending a consultative meeting for policy makers and leaders on AU’s Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP).

Tumusiime observed that though many African countries provide fewer inputs to farmers, many have registered progress in the area of agriculture-led growth.

Therefore Ugandan farmers had a comparative aantage which they ought to take aantage of.“Ugandan farmers need to know how blessed they are, good climate, two seasons a year, and neighbours yearning for their produce. These factors alone are opportunities that they should use. It is time to teach farmers not to wait for government,” she said.

Conducive environment“There is a syndrome called ‘government-should-help-us’, which has become very common with our smallholder farmers. We need to change this because there is no evidence indicating full government support to farmers that has been sustained,” she added.

On his part, Rubarema pointed out that the government is creating a conducive environment to enable farmers move from small-scale subsistence farming to the commercial level.

This is with the view that it will fuel the process of transformation, which would contribute to a change of mindsets.“The various opportunities available will enable farmers to gain confidence to walk the talk. It can help farmers think in business terms,” he said.

During the week-long conference, held last month, the delegation also presented Uganda’s strategy in achieving the Africa’s agricultural agenda and the CAADP.

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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