KAMPALA – Insidious cattle diseases such as Foot and Mouth and Anthrax have diminished the quality of the country’s animal products, made farmers to overprice milk and narrowed their competitive edge in the international market”, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni Tubuhaburwa has said.
“The global demand for milk products is 906 billion litres valued at US$ 458 billion therefore our present production of 2.6 billion litres of milk can enter the global market provided you solve the problem of cattle diseases such as Foot and Mouth, Contagious Bovine Pleuro Pneumonia (CBPP) and Anthrax and of course also offer competitive prices,” the president said in his annual State of the Nation Address last week at Kololo Independence Grounds.
“Therefore, the Banyankore I once met at Rwakitura clamoring to over price milk need to know more about this global competition for market with countries such as New Zealand and Holland,” the president added.
“So, one day I attended a meeting at Rwakitura with the Banyankore. They said we want more money for our milk but if you overprice milk, how will it compete in London, Beijing, New Delhi and New York with milk from other countries? So, we need to wake up our people that we are struggling in a global environment,” he said.
Museveni said Uganda needs to produce quality products to compete internationally.
“Our people need to know that if we are to compete for global markets, our products must be of good quality, must be safe but also cheaper than what other countries are offering,” he said, adding that finding market for agricultural products is not an issue, the post-harvest mishandling of the products is.
“The global demand for maize and maize products is 852 million metric tons valued at US$ 152 billion therefore our production of five million tons of maize can be absorbed provided we solve the problem of quality, getting rid of the shameful aflatoxins- caused by people who mishandle food during harvesting. Why do you mishandle people’s food?” Museveni asked
He said demand for Ugandan products is high.
“Fortunately, the global demand is able to take all the coffee because the global coffee demand is 166.34 million tons and the global demand for milk products is 906 billion litres, valued at US$ 458.1 billion. Therefore, our present production of 2.6 billion liters of milk, can enter the global market provided we solve the problem of cattle diseases (Foot and Mouth, CBPP, anthrax),” he said.
He also appealed to all Ugandans to join the money economy through practicing commercial farming.
“Let all the leaders stop confusing people by sending contradictory or divergent messages. The NRM message ever since 1966 has been; all homesteads should join the money economy and stop working just for the stomach,” Museveni said.
He said the performance of industries in Uganda is still held back by the heavy costs of manufacturing, which include; exploitative commercial bank loans and high transport among others.
“In addition to our long-term goal of building a modern standard gauge railway, we are together with Kenya, rehabilitating the metric-gauge railway for immediate use because by road, a 20ft container costs US$19000 and a 40ft costs US$3200 to Mombasa yet by rail it costs only US$1400 for a 20ft and US$1900 for a 40ft, respectively,” he said.
He also nudged the youths to adopt technology which will address unemployment in Uganda.
“I have been urging our people in the ICT sector to take advantage of the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) in the world. India is earning US$191billion per year from this business of BPOs and employing 1.1million young people,” the president explained
Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) is a method of subcontracting various business-related operations to third-party vendors.
Museveni said he will not accept the minimalist approach of the Ministry of Finance where Ugandans generate wealth that is smaller than that of individual companies in some parts of the world.
“By 2026, Uganda’s population will be 48 million people. If each person is earning US$3,000, that will be US$144billion. Yet US$3,000 per person per year translates to Shs10.8million per year and this will just be people’s incomes, without including infrastructure,” he said.
However, the president believes that once COVID19 is kicked out, Uganda’s economy will resurrect.
“Before the Corona, we were earning US$1.5billion from tourism alone, hotels, banking, music, sports and professional services were moving on well until corona came in,” Museveni said.
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