President Yoweri Museveni has urged local and political leaders in Busoga to sensitize the people against land fragmentation saying the practice, rampant among the predominantly agriculture dependent communities threatens food security and is a source of poverty.
“Land fragmentation is a big problem. If not well addressed, it is the source of poverty. Here at Kityerela village, I am committed to ensure that all the 4000 homesteads are liberated from poverty”, the president said.
The biggest challenge facing Ugandan agriculture today is land fragmentation associated with the traditional inheritance practices and polygamy.
Museveni was meeting local councilors, political, religious and opinion leaders from Mayuge district at the new Kityerela State Lodge and Presidential Demonstration Farm in Mayuge district.
Responding to some of the development issues raised by the local leaders, the president urged them to embrace infrastructure development such as roads and electricity to improve their lives.
On the youth and women, he said government has allocated more funds to the youth livelihood fund, which has already received Shs 85 billion and over Shs 50bn for the womens’ fund so that it’s extended to everyone.
“Later, when everything is fully and economically achieved then the matter of improved salaries and wages can be addressed,” he said.
Museveni cautioned leaders not to front the excuse of drought for not practicing agriculture.
“You can improvise with drip irrigation. It has worked excellently for people with small land acreage,” he said, citing the Presidential model farm at Kityerela adding that this system of irrigation cannot fail because we are surrounded by various water sources.
The president urged a team of fishermen from the seven islands of Lake Victoria in Mayuge district to support the campaign against illegal fishing practice on Uganda waters.
Explaining why he started the demonstration farm, Museveni said he was prompted to establish the farm in mid Eastern region as a model agricultural site at Kityerela village for the surrounding communities to how to exploit government’s OWC programme.
“It is also a commemoration site and reminds us of the fallen comrades and freedom fighters that joined the liberation struggle on the Eastern wing in 1972/3”, he said.
He said while infrastructure development like roads, education sector among others are important, the most vital issue is wealth creation for a person to live a good healthy life.
On diseases, the president said government emphasizes prevention rather than treatment.
“Government emphasizes preventive measures rather than curative like it was done on the six killer diseases among children, proper hygiene, safe and clean water, good nutrition, which together cover over 80% of preventive measures. I have been here with you for the last thirty year, have you ever had that I am bed ridden? I don’t have time for treating ailments. Care for your lives”, Museveni cautioned.
In appreciation, the leaders expressed their happiness to the President for recognizing Busoga regions’ political contribution towards the struggle for political stability and to get rid of dictatorial past regimes.