At ABC’19, Minister Kasaija defends ‘underfunding’ agriculture


Finance Minister Matia Kasaija. File photo.

Speaking at the Annual Bankers Conference (ABC) 2019 in Kampala Tuesday, Uganda’s Finance Minister, Matia Kasaija has defended why, until five years ago, government was not focusing much on agriculture.

Mr. Kasaija – who says he’s a farmer himself – with a small farm in Kibaale, explains how he lost over 6,000 pineapple fruits because of a 3km bad road to his farm.

The Minister, who is representing the Prime Minister at the ABC 2019, says banks should use innovation and apply technology.

“Before, government was not focusing much on agriculture because of other critical sectors like roads, electricity and water,” he said.

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He added: “When we build roads, electricity and water even when it may not be used for irrigation, we are directly supporting agriculture.”

“Because of bad road to my small farm in Kibaale, it rained (cats and dogs – as you called it) and I lost over 6,000 pineapple fruits. Had it been a small farmer and that was his sole source of income, I don’t know how he would be now.”

According to Kasaija, he’s now 70+ years (adding he clocked 75 years old months ago) and still able to stand for three hours, addressing audience without “taking a glass of water”.

“Farming has made me very fit, healthy. When am in the garden for hours, I enjoy fresh air and can walk for hours,” he told the ABC 2019 audience.



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