President Yoweri Museveni has assured Ugandans that the current food price crisis will not persist for long considering the measures that the government has put in place.

These include the support to the development of the oil palm industry, and sunflower and soybean growth.

Museveni has recently faced strong criticism for allegedly failing to offer any solutions to the high cost of living that has resulted mainly from an increase in prices of imports, especially fuel, wheat, and crude edible oil.

They have also had a spillover effect on the prices of locally manufactured products like soap, cement, and steel.

Speaking after the reading of the National Budget 2022/2023 by Minister of Finance, Planning, and Economic Development, Matia Kasaija, President Museveni said that with all the ongoing projects, Uganda will soon have enough food for consumption and export.

Stressing the need for irrigation, President Museveni said there is a need to protect the wetlands if irrigation is to be sustainably carried out.

According to the Ministry of Finance, in the year 2021/22, the government established five medium-scale irrigation schemes and 106 small-scale irrigation schemes

“In the agricultural sector, priority will be on; Expansion of irrigation schemes, ensuring sustained agricultural production, enhanced farmer education and pest and disease control and the Parish level,” Kasaija said.

Museveni also named wetlands in Busoga and Bukedi in Eastern Uganda and the Kigezi region in the southwest, where people resettled by the colonial government will be compensated and relocated.

He however directed for an unconditional vacating of wetlands in any other parts of the country, so that irrigation can be carried out safely.

He said that on wheat there is no known solution because he is not sure Uganda can grow the commodity sustainably, adding that there is need to study the Ugandan conditions for food. He however said the others like oil will soon be overcome.

On the high fuel prices, Museveni put hope in the easing of global situation until Uganda starts producing her own oil in three years’ time.

But even then he says this will also be influenced by global prices, with the only reprieve coming from the exclusion of transportation costs. The realistic solution to oil crises, he says would be the construction of the rehabilitation of the railway line from Mombasa to Kampala and northern Uganda.

The total budget for the next financial year is 48.1 trillion Shillings, with domestic revenues expected to raise Shillings 30 trillion. Interest and external debt payments will take 17,4 trillion Shillings, while Human capital development, including health, education and social development takes Shillings 8.7 trillion.

Other major areas of expenditure are governance and security with Shillings 7 trillion and integrated infrastructure at Shillings 5 trillion. Private sector development and sustainable energy development will take 1.6 trillion each, while agro-industrialization gets 1.27 trillion Shillings. Others are Development Plan implementation with 1.23 trillion Shillings and regional development with 1.19 trillion Shillings.

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