Democratic Party (DP) presidential candidate Norbert Mao has said he will revive the agricultural sector once voted to power. Mao was addressing his final rallies in Lubaga and Makindye divisions, where he told his supporters that agriculture was once the backbone of this country, but had been neglected by the current government. “Every financial year, this government allocates only 8% of the budget to agriculture, which has brought the sector that was once glorious to a stand-still. “These funds cannot sustain the sector, which feeds a population of more than 30 million people,” Mao said.
He said his government would allocate a minimum of 15% of the country’s budget to reviving the agricultural sector. Mao added that once the sector is boosted, the country will increase the production of food, which will also be used for export.
“During this government, the country has faced famine, which is a result of insufficient funding for the agricultural sector. This means the country will continue to suffer if nothing is done to boost the sector,” he said. Mao, who was flanked by his wife Naome, pledged to set up agriculture-based industries throughout the country that will buy produce and make products for the local and export markets. “Our products would carry great value once they are processed locally instead of exporting raw materials to countries that would use the residue to get more products. If we export finished goods, we will boost our economy,” Mao said.
He promised to subsidise imported agricultural equipment, saying this would encourage Ugandans to practise agriculture. Mao, who addressed rallies in Nakulabye and Kasubi markets, said he would fight hard to reclaim the electricity distributing company that was sold to foreigners. “Since the sale of many government-owned companies, our people have suffered with the high prices levied on products. If we bring those companies back, people will get services at fair prices, hence development,” he said. He promised to reduce electricity and fuel prices if voted into power. Mao assured his supporters that he would win the elections by 67%, saying he has electorate bases in the Northern region, among the youth, the poor and in his party. He urged them to vote for DP’s Maxensia Nalubwika in Lubaga North and Joseph Lwanga of Makindye east.