Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa has directed the Minister of Finance Matia Kasaija and his Agriculture counterpart Frank Tumwebaze to present to Parliament action taken report on funds for the purchase of coffee seedlings to be supplied to farmers.
This directive followed a petition about the plight of the coffee nursery bed operators around the country who are stuck with seedlings after the government failed to buy them for supply to the farmers this season.
The petition from Devoted Coffee Farmers Initiative Uganda was presented by Sheema District woman legislator Rosemary Nyakikongolo and Mwenge North’s David Muhumuza
Tayebwa said that many farmers across the country cannot afford to buy seedlings and have been waiting for government support after Parliament appropriated funds in the current financial year’s budget.
“I refer this petition to the two ministers. That is the Minister of Agriculture and the Minister of Finance. Please meet and bring a joint report on action taken on Wednesday next week. We actually need seedlings,” Tayebwa said.
He stated that over the years, legislators have been supported with coffee seedlings to supply to their constituents and the 11th Parliament was convinced that the same will be carried on through the Parish Development Model.
“The Minister of Finance came here and committed himself that the government will buy these seedlings. We passed money and the season is on but seedlings have not been supplied. People have prepared nursery beds and are stuck with the seedlings. Farmers are saying we need seedlings but we don’t have capacity to buy them,” said Tayebwa.
Kasaija’s commitment in May this year followed a concern by Bukonzo West MP Godfrey Atkins Katusabe who said that the nursery bed operators were counting losses because the government had not bought their seedlings.
The state minister for Agriculture, Bright Rwamirama assured Parliament that action will be taken on the issues raised in the petition.