Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The government has partnered with religious institutions to help in the implementation of its agro-industrialization drive under the National Development Plan III.
In a Memorandum of Understanding between the government and the Inter-Religious Council of Uganda, the two parties hope to among other things, change the peasant mindset of Ugandans so that they embrace transformation from subsistence practices. This is a result of a meeting in which the council and President Yoweri Museveni agreed to have a formal network to tackle poverty through agricultural development.
The overall objective of the deal is to contribute to household economic empowerment through promotion of agro-industrialisation, community mobilisation, mindset change, value chain development and food security. Agriculture Minister Vincent Bamulangaki Ssempijja says the religious leaders will use their advantage of the big congregations that listen to them to drive mindset change via the various channels that they have.
Apart from mobilizing, equipping and positioning religious leaders and their staffs to be mind change agents, the MoU will support households in agricultural production, post-harvest handling, value addition and support linkages to markets.
This is a demand-driven program where people, with the guidance of the religious leaders will present their needs to NAADS to get the required intervention. The government has identified target sectors and clustered them in 18 regions to form part of the implementation framework. It will also be responsible for the supply and distribution of inputs and provision of technical support among others.
IRCU also intends to identify religious leaders and groups, especially where denominational institutions are not well identified to enable them to undergo mindset change and tackle what they called ideological disorientation.
The Mufti of Uganda Sheikh Shaban Mubajje who is the chairman of the Council of Presidents at IRCU says the religious institutions have a lot of idle assets especially land and this program will leverage on that so that they benefit the respective communities.
The government will be represented by the National Agriculture Advisory Services-NAADS, leading other government ministries, departments and agencies including the ministries of Gender, ICT and National Guidance, Local Government, and Water and environment. The others are Ministry of Trade, Finance, Ethics and Integrity, parliament, the NPA, Operation Wealth Creation and private and civil society organisations.
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