By Bridget Kabahenda
Finance Minister Matia Kasaija has said the NAADS/OWC programs that it has not had significant impact and has instead cost government a lot of money. According to Kasaija, the 1.2 trillion shillings that government spent on NAADS/ OWC cannot be seen on ground and the little on ground is dwindling.
He says the program has not met people’s needs because it is supply driven instead of demand driven. He said the projects lack organization right from the ground.
During the launch of the regional agro-led industrialization initiative held in Fort Portal, Kasaija recommended that the budgeting process should be based on the regional needs to avoid the repeat of non productive ventures.
Kasaija will present the budgeting matter before cabinet and the process should be bottom up not top bottom approach that has been the order of the day.
Frank Tumwebaze, the minister for ICT, who was also present at the event backed the minister that instead of OWC providing seedlings to farmers they would have first thought of infrastructure where farmers pass to take the produce to the markets.
The two ministers position was challenged by the state minister for Agriculture Christopher Kibazanga who who accused the finance ministry of not budgeting for the facilitation of the ministry of trade to market the produce to the neighboring Kenya or even organizing farmers.
The agro- LED industrialization initiative is part of the presidential initiative to promote agro industrialization for local economic development in the Rwenzori region that seeks to enhance capacity development, ownership and sustainability with the community, private sector and good governance as the pillars.
Tom Butime the minister for local government emphasized on infrastructure development for sustainable industrialization process.
A 3 year total budget of 649 billion for all the districts in the Rwenzori region to be presented before cabinet for approval between January and June 2019 .