Over the weekend, the president of Uganda, H.E Yoweri Museveni launched the commercial operations of Soroti Fruit Factory, which was set up by the Uganda Development Corporation (UDC) with support of the Korean government.
President Museveni also launched Uganda Development Corporation’s 10-year plan.
President Museveni’s remarks;
The trick about farming is that it must be based on “akabalo” (calculation). In Teso, people used to grow coffee and cotton on small pieces of land. You would find someone growing cotton on one acre and earning about Shs200,000 a year.
This idea of growing cash crops on even very small pieces of land was propagated by the colonialists who wanted raw materials for their factories back home but did not really care about our people’s welfare and income.
So, when I came to Teso, I decampaigned this practice. These cash-crops should be a preserve of farmers or institutions with large tracts of land. For those with small pieces, you should go for crops or activities that offer high financial returns even when done on small scale.
That is how I preached fruit farming, dairy rearing, apiary, keeping poultry, in place of coffee growing, tobbaco farming and others. It took long but I am happy that people of Teso got my message. Now, there are 8.2 million fruit trees in this sub-region alone.
I have studied the global market, the demand for fruits is big. The same for dairy products, fish and honey that is why I recommend these products. Therefore, let us go into fruits because they are the medicine for poverty for the ‘small people’.
I thank the Koreans for their support. We can cooperate more in terms of machinery support and skills transfer. Our economy is growing fast and that presents many opportunities.
The World Bank the other day reported that African economies are growing at 2.3 percent, the rest of the world at 3 percent but Uganda is growing at 6 percent with potential of even going higher. It is because we are investing in the right places; electricity, roads, education, etc.
Finally, let us stop land fragmentation. The practice of children splitting up land when the family head dies, should stop. Own the land jointly as a family, only share the proceeds from that land.
I keep doing my part and guiding you. When I go to heaven, I will tell God I told you what to do but you simply refused.