The death of Dr, Wilberforce Kisamba Mugerwa has been described as
a big loss to Uganda’s agricultural development fraternity. The people he has
worked with say Kisamba Mugerwa has been one of the experts in the long journey
towards the improvement of Agriculture in the country and Africa.
The former Agriculture Minister died on Thursday at Mulago of
suspected COVOD-19 infection.
He was 75 years of age. Kisamba has been a champion for
access and use of credit by smallholder farmers in Uganda.
Dr Mugerwa was the Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries at
the time when the Plan for Modernization of Agriculture (PMA) was introduced.
The PMA had proposed interventions in areas like Technology Development and
Dissemination and Agricultural Advisory Services.
Mugerwa had hoped that agricultural extension together with,
Agricultural Education, Access to and sustainable utilisation of natural
resources, Infrastructure, Rural Finance and agro-processing and marketing
would enable the country to achieve the ultimate goal of eradicating poverty
through modernizing agriculture.
Dr Slim Nahdy, the pioneer Executive Director of National Agricultural Advisory
Services (NAADS) says he was extremely committed to helping smallholder farmers
and those who worked on the land.
“He was less the master behind the whole Plan for Modernization of
Agriculture of which if it had worked we would be very far in agricultural
production. Unfortunately, it was never taken seriously” said Nahdy.
Dr Slim Nahdy remembers that NAADS was extremely vibrant at the time when Dr
Kisamba Mugerwa was the Minister of Agriculture.
Dr Kisamba Mugerwa resigned from cabinet to take up an assignment as Division
Director International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in Addis Ababa,
“He was someone who could speak out his mind without fear or favour. He was very
down to earth person. Condolences go to the whole family” said Nahdy who is now
with the African Forum For Agricultural Advisory Services (AFAAS).
Dr Margaret Najjingo Mangheni, An Associate Professor at Makerere University’s
Department Of Extension and Innovation Studies said Kisamba Mugerwa’s death is
a sad loss to the country’s effort to streamline Agricultural Extension in the
She says while serving as Chairperson of the National Planning
Authority, Kisamba Mugerwa continued to fight to have Agricultural advisory and
Sasakawa Africa Association Country Director , Dr. Rosaline Nyamutale in
a message said " The late Dr. Kisamba Mugerwa was a very good supporter
of our organization while the Miniuster of Agriculture. The country has
lost a person who loved his country, very good strategic thinker and
planner. For the agricultural sector and the country as a whole , we
shall miss him."
Uganda Radio Network interviewed Dr Wilberforce Kisamba Mugerwa at
the time when the debate on the reform of extension services was going on. The
President had also transformed NAADS into Operation Wealth Creation.
Kisamba Mugerwa spoke about the idea behind the plan for
modernization of agriculture with its components like NAADS.
//Cue in: “in a civilized society……
Kisamba Mugerwa says professionally he believed that a policy can deliver the
intended purpose if properly implemented. He said for the case of the Plan for
Modernization of Agriculture, it was half-heartedly implemented. He had
suggested that the single spine extension system was likely to fail like the
//Cue In “Places are that when I left, these were not fully ….
Cue Out: “… is now the order of the day.//
Dr Kisamba Mugerwa was the Minister of State for Finance in charge of Entandikwa.
Entandikwa was a credit or seed money scheme by President Museveni
in 1995 as the country prepared for the 1996 election.
It had by March 1994 under the leadership of Dr Kisamba Mugerwa distributed
over 6.4 billion shillings to all the then 39 districts of Uganda.
The Entandikwa scheme however collapsed because the recipients did not payback.
He was also state Minister in the office of the President responsible
for the rehabilitation of Luwero triangle.
After the 1996 elections, Kisamba Mugerwa was appointed Minister of General
Duties, Office of the Prime Minister. He served in that position until August
1999 when he was appointed Minister of Agriculture. Dr Wilberforce Kisamba
Mugerwa was also Chairperson National Planning Authority.
He was appointed Board Chairperson of Micro-Finance Support Center after
leaving the National Planning Authority. The late Kisamba was also board
chairperson, Sugar Corporation of Uganda Ltd.(SCOUL), UGUMA Engineering
Enterprises Ltd, Cable Corporation Ltd among others.