A Cabinet sitting today has made adjustments to the 2017/2018 budget raising an additional 15 billion Shillings for immediate food relief to the country.
The same cabinet meeting has resolved to raise 27 billion Shillings to buy seedlings to supply to farmers in order to prepare for the next season.
David Bahati, the State minister for planning told parliament this afternoon that the additional 27 billion Shillings was in the view of taking advantage of the current rains so that farmers are well prepared.
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Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah directed parliament's budget and agriculture committees to follow up on the implementation of government's commitment.
Bahati's statement follows a commitment by Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda yesterday of briefing parliament about cabinet deliberations on the current food crisis in the country.
Rugunda's commitment followed a debate in which legislators demanded government action to mitigate the food insecurity in the country. The MPs also demanded adequate funding to the agricultural sector.
The total budget in the 2017/2018 framework paper as approved by parliament early this month is 28.8 trillion Shillings.
In the budget, government under the Agriculture Sector had already earmarked Shillings 129 billion to undertake sustainable food production systems.
A breakdown of the money indicates that Shillings 23.3 billion is to support irrigation interventions like construction of valley tanks, Shillings 35.4 billion for value addition in beef for exports, and Shillings 9.4 billion for animal disease control and surveillance among others.
The others include Shillings four billion for crop pests and disease control, four billion for quality assurance, monitoring and support to extension services, and 27.5 billion for seed and planting materials for beans, cowpeas, maize, cassava, sweet potatoes and bananas.
Also provided is 15.3 billion Shillings for mechanization and provision of tractors and Shillings 10 billion for provision of hoes. However, parliament directed that government reallocates the Shillings 10 billion for buying hoes to funding research activities.
The most food insecure regions in the country include Teso, Karamoja, Bukedi, the Cattle Corridor, Busoga, Lango, Acholi and parts of central Uganda.
According to Musa Ecweru, the state minister for disaster preparedness, the current relief stocks stand at 30,000 bags of maize flour, 7000 bags of beans and 119,660 bags of rice. He said the rice item worth 22.2 billion Shillings was a donation from the government of China.