On 8th June 2014, Hon Businge Prosper, the District Councilor for West Division in Fort Portal Municipality, Kabarole District indicated how President Museveni had misquoted the role of the NAADS program. "NAADS means National Agricultural Advisory Services. This program was meant to give knowledge to farmers about how they can improve their agricultural produce, and not giving farmers enterprises. However, the president changed the program’s intended role by giving farmers cows, seeds and agricultural products which led to its failure”. The panelist was discussing on ToroDev’s sponsored accountability program on Better FM called ‘Listener’s Forum’ that discusses issues of accountability every Sunday (08:00 – 10:00) pm.
|Hon. Tress Bucyanayandi Cabinet Minister of Agriculture|
Hon Businge further indicated the president's intention to end NAADS. “When President Museveni was giving the State-of-the-Nation Address, he indicated how he was going to scrap off NAADS on grounds that technical people were swindling money allocated to the program. The president further indicated that the NAADS policies were poor and were giving the technical people authority to misuse the allocated funds. ”,
The live radio discussion was also attended by Mr. Kaswarra Gonzaga, a local citizen of Kabarole District who indicated the need for the government to commercialize agriculture. “Agriculture will not develop in Uganda unless the government starts Agricultural Banks that will help farmers to acquire loans (agricultural loans) that will push them from extensive farming to commercial farming. The president’s intention of banning cooperative unions like coffee marketing boards, meat marketing boards, among others that were farmers’ voices in selling their produce at reasonable prices was not a good idea. Even the no longer existing commercial banks used to help farmers to get loans to commercialize/mechanize their agriculture through buying tractors, harvesters, agro inputs, among others”.
Mr. Kaswarra also indicated the different programs that have been introduced by the president but with no success. “President Museveni has introduced many poverty eradication programs in Uganda, but they have all failed. Such programs include cocoa growing, moringa growing, among others. Even the president’s emphasis on growing coffee will not benefit Ugandans if value addition is not considered. The government should focus on starting agro industries and re-stock Rubona Stock Farm for being a breeding center in the region”.
The live radio discussion was moderated by Mr. Mukonyezi Wilfred and is supported by NED, SIDA/CIPESA on a project aimed at using radio and social media to improve service delivery and accountability in the Rwenzori Region, Western Uganda.