Government has raised UShs 15b intended to alleviate the current food shortage in various parts of the country, the Minister of State for Finance (Planning), Hon. David Bahati has said.
"Following our promise, government has made some adjustments in the budget and raised UShs 5b for immediate food relief in the country," said Hon. Bahati during the plenary sitting of Parliament, Wednesday afternoon.
The Minister said that government has also raised another UShs 27b to buy seedlings for planting during the next season, having found it necessary as the rains start.
The Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Vincent Bamulangaki Ssempijja, on Tuesday told Parliament that the food security situation in the country was getting worse, as the population that needed food relief had increased from 1.3 million in November 2016 to 1.58 million people last month.
"This situation requires urgent government intervention before it gets out of hand," said Hon. Ssempijja.
Minister Bahati added that government would also take advantage of the donation of rice by the Chinese government to supplement efforts by the Ugandan government in providing food to famine affected people.
The Deputy Speaker, Rt. Hon. Jacob Oulanyah, who chaired the Parliament sitting asked the Committee on Agriculture to monitor the government pledge and update the House accordingly.
During the Prime Minister's Question Time, the Opposition Chief Whip, Hon. Ibrahim Ssemujju, however said that government had for several years failed to provide UShs 40b required to recruit various professionals in different fields of agriculture to provide the much needed services at sub-county and district level.
The Prime Minister, Hon. Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, said government would continue to encourage farmers to grow enough food for both the local and regional market. He said that although the budget provision to agriculture may seem low, agriculture benefits from other ministries' budgets in terms of infrastructure.
Source: Parliament of Uganda