The budget for FY 2016/2017 has already been presented in parliament for approval and appropriation. It’s in this regard that a pre budget dialogue was held last week on 18th March 2016 to share the budget projections and expectations on the 2016/2017 national budget.
Participatory Ecological Land Use Management (PELUM) in partnership with Civil Society Budget Advocacy Group (CSABG) organized this dialogue under the theme: ’The 5 Year Journey to transforming Uganda's Economy and the Prospects of the FY 2016/17 budget in addressing Today's economic challenges" at UMA Conference hall in Kampala.
A cross-section of stakeholders across the country attended including CSOs, community monitors, government ministries, policy makers, private sector organizations, academia, local governments, development partners, and the media participated in the dialogue. PELUM was represented by some of her members and farmers who deliberated on their expectations of the 2016/2017 budget.
Concerns in agriculture were raised including how the government intends to address the problem of fake agro inputs on the market and the need for extension services among others. In addition the issue of not having any allocation on non wage for extension was also raised. In response to this the Director Budget Mr. Kenneth Mugambe noted that the government is being systematic by employing extension workers first in the forth coming financial year and then non wage in the next financial years.
While quoting a study by World Bank, the Director Budget said that agriculture still remains key and once invested in can get more people out of poverty. He further on said that the ministry supports agricultural production and productivity and for the FY 2016/2017 there will be an increase in allocation to the agricultural sector. More allocation of 22 billion will be provided to recruit extension workers, in terms of agriculture financing 30 billion is allocated every year and in the next financial year they will introduce the agriculture insurance scheme.
Having said that, he noted that the problem is not the allocation but performance by different sectors agriculture inclusive and therefore called upon Non State Actors to work closely with their respective ministries to ensure that there is value for money by monitoring the implementation of the budget.