The Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda has urged the local leadership in Northern Uganda to exploit the prevalent peace and stability, by supporting commercial agriculture which is one of the avenues through which jobs will be created, particularly for the youth in the sub-region

The Prime Minister made these remarks while visiting the commercial farmers and investors in Nwoya District on Tuesday.

The Premier saluted President Yoweri Museveni, the government, and people of Uganda for tirelessly working together to kick out rebel leader Joseph Kony, adding that these joint efforts have ushered in peace and stability as well as development in the region.

The Prime Minister also thanked the investors for supporting the people of Nwoya district by making investments in the area which has enabled the locals to also earn some income and hence contribute to the development of the national economy.

“On behalf of government, I take this opportunity to thank the investors for investing their time, energy, resources, skills and knowledge in Nwoya district,” the Premier said.

Hon Rugunda urged the leaders and the investors to create industrial parks in Nwoya district so that the area becomes an industrial centre that can create more jobs and incomes, increase exports for the country and also spur Uganda’s development.

He also urged the locals to take advantage of the current opportunities available in the district including the support offered by the investors to make Northern Uganda the food basket of East Africa.

Dr Rugunda also pledged the support of Government to the commercial farmers and investors by ensuring that power is extended in the district to boost production and a technical school to equip people with relevant skills

The Minister of State for Northern Uganda, Grace Kwiyucwiny urged the farmers to embrace livestock farming in the area to add more value to agriculture in the area.

Hon Kwiyucwiny also called upon the farmers in the area to work together so that they can benefit more from the collective sale of their agricultural produce.

Thomas Rowles, the Managing Director Amatheon Agri Uganda, a European agro business and food company based in Nwoya District with its headquarters in Berlin, said there is an increasing number of commercial farmers in the area which will lead to the economic development in the region.

PM Rugunda poses for a group photo with local leaders, government officials and commercials Farmers during his Visit in Got-Apwoyo Subcounty in Nwoyo District on Tuesday (Photo by PMPU)

He urged the farmers to practice crop rotation, crop mixtures to increase yields and use of fertilizers.

Thomas also enumerated some of the challenges faced by the commercial farmers in the area and asked for government support to overcome them.

Some of the challenges include: the high interest rates charged by the banks making it hard for the farmers to acquire loans, poor infrastructure in terms of roads and lack of security due to lack of a police post in area among others.

Amatheon Agri Uganda was founded in 2013 to establish large scale commercial farming in Nwoya district.

With a total investment of 20 million US Dollars, it has developed 3000 operational hectares of land. They grow maize, rice, soya, sunflower and sorghum.

Also present were the Government Chief Whip Ruth Nakabirwa and the NRM Deputy Secretary-General Richard Todwong.

By Doreen Nasasira

Thursday, 27th October 2016