By Fred Kiva
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Pius Wakabi says the Farmers Subsidy arrangement under Operation Wealth Creation(OWC) Program will help address concerns of delayed distribution of farm inputs and avoid scenarios where farmers are given inputs they don’t prefer.
Government is shifting from giving out free farm inputs to farmers to a subsidy arrangement, where farmers will get agriculture inputs from private suppliers at a subsidized cost.
Operation Wealth Creation Program has been dogged by complaints of delayed distribution of farm inputs, leading to poor performance of the program in some areas. However, Wakabi says government is up to address this challenge by partnering with registered private suppliers to give agricultural inputs to farmers at subsidized prices.
“We are changing the mode from giving free inputs to a subsidy program, so that farmers can request for what they want at the time they need it, at a subsidized price. For as long as the farm inputs are free, the complaints will not end, you know free things,” Wakabi noted.
Despite the complaints, Wakabi maintains that “OWC has registered a lot of successes.”
OWC program was introduced by President Yoweri Museveni in 2014. The military led wealth creation operation aims at improvement of household incomes for poverty eradication, wealth creation and overall prosperity of Ugandans through facilitation of sustainable commercial agricultural production. Under the program, livestock and farm inputs such as seeds, coffee and fruit tree seedlings among others have been distributed to registered farmers across the country.
The OWC Director, Henry Banyenzaki says “the military civil operation has enhanced coordination, harmonization and accountability of agencies that contribute to wealth creation.”
The officials were speaking at the Uganda Revenue Authority’s Taxpayers Appreciation Week activities at Kololo Ceremonial grounds on Thursday. The event activities include presentations and exhibitions by key government Ministries, Departments and Agencies as a way of giving accountability for the taxpayers’ money.
Speaking at the opening of the Week activities on Wednesday, the Commissioner General Uganda Revenue Authority, Doris Akol said the event is one of the mechanisms the Government Tax Body is using to enhance compliance in tax payment, since taxpayers get to know what government is doing with their tax money. The three day event concludes today(Friday) September 29.