Monday, 19 March 2012

President warns against de-gazetting park land for agriculture production

President Yoweri Museveni has warned the people of Rwenzori region against de-gazetting parts of the Rwenzori national park for land cultivation saying the region attracts tourists who bring in the much needed foreign earnings.
Tourism, he said, has a potential of US$ 800 billion on the world market and that the Government is committed to promoting it for the benefit of the people. Giving the example of Spain, he said that the country earns US$ 23billion per year from the tourism industry alone and that Uganda has the potential to earn good income from the sector. 
Uganda’s tourism earnings increased from US $165.3m in 2001 to over $600m by 2009, making the industry a robust source of foreign exchange this according to Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) statistics.
The President was speaking at the Zonal Conference on Poverty Alleviation and Enterprise selection organized by State House for Rwenzori Region at Entebbe State House. The ongoing conference organized for each region in Uganda is being attended by technical staff including production officers, NAADS coordinators, and members of parliament, ministers and technical people from stakeholder ministries.
The conference seeks to mobilize and sensitize the people about effective land use through enterprise selection and mix for poverty alleviation. Among other things, it seeks to know enterprise priorities per region that can give an equal or greater income to what a homestead spends, how much homesteads are spending on needs per annum, the average landholding per homestead and identify government intervention gaps.
The President Museveni urged the political leaders and technical personnel to sensitize the people on modern agro-production methods to enable them get maximum returns from their small pieces of land for income and for food security.
He cautioned the people against land fragmentation and called on the local leaders to spare no efforts in addressing the vice. However, he urged leaders to sensitize the people on the best practices to boost incomes and food security on the available land.
President Museveni supported the proposal to introduce legislature against people who introduce diseases of plants or animals as well as those involved in fake veterinary and crop drugs. He urged them to plant indigenous grasses and propagate them to increase the quality of livestock feeds.
He commended the Kyegegwa District delegation for their proposal to engage in the production of mangoes. He assured the gathering that the Government is to facilitate the provision of solar water pumps to promote irrigation. He noted that the Rwenzori region was endowed with a land terrain which does not need pumping water for irrigation and that it can utilize gravity flow schemes.
He revealed that the Government will facilitate the de silting of valley dams and also promote irrigation in Kasese, Kabarole, Bundibugyo and Rwenzori region at large.
President Museveni pledged to provide the people feed mixers, milk coolers and hatcheries for fish and poultry. He proposed that the small land holders should engage in the production of coffee, dairy, poultry, fruits, pigs, bananas and bee keeping while large scale farmers can produce maize and cotton.
The Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Tress Bucanayandi asked the Government to support performing targets for both the technical staff and the politicians.

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