ToroDev in partnership with other civil society organizations from across the country through Civil Society Budget Advocacy Group (CSBAG) has joined the campaign to petition the Uganda Parliament calling for the withdrawal of taxes on agricultural inputs proposed in the 2014/2015 Uganda National Budget. The petition is expected to be presented to the Speaker of Uganda Parliament in this month (August 2014).
ToroDev has joined this petition because the proposed taxes are regressive and will likely over burden small scale farmers which will consequently lead to increase in the food costs putting many livelihoods at stake.
Although Uganda has generally enjoyed good economic growth in the last ten years averaging 7% per year, the growth in the agriculture sector has been disappointing. Real growth in agricultural output has been steadily declining over the years, from 7.9% in 2000/01 to about 2.6% in 2008/2009 partly due to limited budgetary support and taxation of agricultural inputs by the government of Uganda.
It should be noted that other unproductive sectors like security and administration continue to receive high budgetary support from the government which is unhealthy to Uganda’s economy.
The poor performance of the agriculture sector is also reflected in the sector’s declining contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) hence increasing poverty since over 80% of Uganda’s population especially in the rural areas like the seven districts of the Rwenzori Region where ToroDev operates are either directly or indirectly employed by the sector.
ToroDev hopes that the central government will listen to local grassroot call to withdraw the taxes on agricultural inputs and hence avoid the country from being food insecure. The withdrawal of the proposed taxes will also uplift the livelihoods of the rural grassroots who depend on agriculture to improve their household incomes.
This initiative is under ToroDev’s public policy analysis and advocacy which aims at advocating/lobbying for better government planning and budgeting policies to ensure that public resources are appropriated in a manner that uplifts the livelihoods of the local grassroots.