The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh has called on commercial banks in the Republic of Uganda to reduce their lending interest rates to farmers to encourage growth in the Agriculture sector.
He made the call when a delegation from Uganda on an agricultural study tour of the Growth Enhancement Support Scheme (GES) E-Wallet Operation in Nigeria paid him a courtesy call.
Alarmed at the high interest rate of 20-25 per cent to farmers, he noted this is a disaster to farmers as in most developed economies of the world’s lending interest rate stood at 3 1/2 per cent.
He observed that Africa is the most challenged continent, and by 2050, the challenges will increase as other countries will rely on Africa and South America for their food supply.
He called on the Ugandan delegation to get their parliament to buy into the idea of tackling the issue of high interest rate by commercial banks to farmers as they would share in the blame for a failed economy.
The minister noted that for the Growth Enhancement Support (GES) scheme to succeed in Uganda, challenges such as the provision of quality and viable seeds, supply of quality fertilisers, to the diversion of fertilizer by middle men must be tackled.
The Uganda Minister of State for Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) and leader of the Delegation, Mbalibula Kibanzanga Christopher said that the objective of the study tour was to learn from Nigeria’s success stories in the implementation of the GES scheme E-wallet operation.
The team is also soliciting for the provision of technical assistance for the establishment of Uganda’s e-voucher scheme by Nigeria.
The 20-man delegation is on a six day agricultural study tour of the country.