Museveni rallies church leaders on modern agriculture

AGAGO-President Yoweri Museveni has urged church leaders to rally followers to join intensive agricultural practices in order to eradicate household poverty, especially by embracing a four-acre farming model.

Museveni said the church itself can only grow when its members are prosperous, adding that one can only prosper if they are involved in serious hard work, especially in agriculture.

Museveni was on Sunday addressing thousands of Christians in Agago district during the beatification of Fr. Dr. Giuseppe Ambrosoli at Kalongo Catholic Church where he said Amrosoli was a hard worker who treated the sick and preached the word of God in northern Uganda.

He urged Christians to adopt the four-acre farming model where they can grow food crops, cash crops, and keep some livestock.

He said that if the Christians can buy his idea, the government is ready to support them with irrigation systems, cattle for milk, and other inputs. The president said he has been working with the Archbishop of Gulu Archdiocese Archbishop, John Baptist Odama, on a cassava project.

“Working for the stomach only is not a good idea, we want working to chase both hunger and poverty, so we want people to get into intensive and extensive agriculture depending on the size of land. Now with that massive involvement in commercial agriculture in all households, we will create a lot of products that can be sold within Uganda and other countries for processing,” Museveni said.

“Once the Christians have money and food, the church will be prosperous because the Christians will give more support, the homesteads of course will be better off and the government will get good taxes,” the president said.

Museveni challenged the Christians to follow in the footsteps of Ambrosoli who traveled from Italy and worked so hard in northern Uganda.

“How can we fail to look after our own families…I am not saying go to Italy and become a missionary. I am simply saying chase poverty from your home. If Dr. Ambrosoli by example could go so far away from home and work so hard, how about us who can work from home here?” Museveni asked.

Archbishop Odama recently while meeting a section of youth from Gulu City urged them to engage in commercial agriculture instead of waiting for handouts from politicians.

Odama`s message follows Museveni`s continuous call for the adoption of a four-acre farming model which he said is ideal for people with small pieces of land, which are good for intensive agriculture.

“Some of you here keep on crying of poverty yet you have land in the villages. Why can`t you engage in small-scale intensive agriculture?  If an old person like me is still engaged in agriculture [cassava plantation], then why aren’t you?” Odama asked.

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