The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, has called on government to restore cooperative unions saying they provide a better way of organizing production, markets and prices of agricultural products.
Kadaga, who was speaking at the second Uganda Netherlands Business Convention, noted that cooperative unions will boost the agricultural sector.
The Convention was held in Amsterdam on Friday, 24 August 2018.
“When we were children, there was a very vibrant cooperative union called, Busoga Growers’ Cooperative Union, which was able to lend money to the British government. We had much money that we were able to lend,” said Kadaga.
“That time the markets were certain, payments were certain. We need to go back to cooperative unions so as to organize better the growing, marketing and payment [of agricultural produce],” she added.
She applauded Parliament for the recent push for government to consider reviving cooperative societies in order to improve the quantity, quality and marketing of agricultural produce.
Kadaga also applauded Parliament for moving government to come to the aid of maize farmers who have been grappling with a sharp decline in maize prices.
“Parliament has been instrumental in recent weeks, and government has had to come up with a strategy to uplift farmers quickly by injecting money into banks to buy maize from farmers,” said Kadaga.
She hopes that the money would be accessible by farmers.
“We shall be watching to ensure that this money is not only available but also accessible,” she said.
Francis Gonahasa (FDC, Kibweri, Kibuku) vowed to move a motion on restoration of cooperative societies.
He said “unlike SACCOS, cooperatives strengthen large scale investment in agriculture which would boost the economy”.
The Uganda Netherlands Business Convention was run under the theme “Advancing agricultural value addition.” The Convention attracted Ugandan based farmers, agriculture firms in Netherlands, agricultural research institutions and the Ugandan community in Netherlands.