Take on High Value Crops; Museveni Tells Tea Farmers

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By Justine and Jonan

President Yoweri Museveni has asked farmers to diversify from the traditional tea to other high commercial value crops.

In his address during the National Labour’s day celebrations held in Mukabura playground in Fort Portal Tourism City, Museveni said tea doesn’t have high global market to compared to other products like coffee, fish and banana.

The president said that with changing global demands, he has been an advocate of diversified economy though his message has not been given attention by the appropriate persons.

Notably, Museveni highlighted seven key enterprises, coffee, fruits (mangoes, oranges, pineapples, apples, grapes), zero-grazing dairy farming, fish farming, poultry for egg production, piggery, and homestead food crops such as cassava and bananas.

The president’s message, followed a presentation by Col. Tom Butiime, the minister of Tourism and MP Mwenge Central in Kyenjojo district who informed the president that government need to urgently intervene in the plight of tea farmers with many abandoning their farms over drop in prices.

Museveni, however said cabinet will meet to address some of the issues including lack of fertilizers and other challenges that faced by tea farmers that can be addressed by government. He also promised to meet select leaders from Rwenzori Sub-Region in June this year to discuss regional matter.

The president also highlighted a growing concern regarding the ownerships of markets in Uganda noting that many of them have been taken over by wealthy individuals leading to displacement of small traders and vendors. He called upon the vice president to investigate and address cases where market ownership has been monopolized by greedy leaders.

Earlier, Butime had reminded the president of his unfullfiled pledges inclduing roads, construction of Buhinga stadium and the industrial park.

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