By Gen Caleb Akandwanaho Salim Saleh (Rtd)
Dear esteemed readers, I send you warm regards from OWC.
At almost 6 years since its creation, OWC continues to register impressive success in creating a system that facilitates effective national socio-economic transformation through mass mobilization, timely and equitable agro-input distribution, rural technological upgrading, community enterprise development, and rural infrastructural development. We envision a socially and economically transformed Ugandan society.
Contextually, OWC has stimulated the birth of new regional strategic and grand development initiatives; namely: the Public Investment Management for Agro-industrialization (PIMA) and the Presidential Initiative on Agro-industrialization for Local Economic Development (AGRi-LED).
The two broad areas that constitute the strategy for Public Investment Management for Agro-industrialization (PIMA) include transformative shifts in service delivery; and policy and regulatory adjustments coupled with corresponding public funding adjustments.
I invite each one of us to embrace and support the Presidential Initiative on Agro-Industrialization for Local Economic Development (AGRi-LED) agenda.
Designed to cover all the regions of Uganda albeit in a phased manner starting with the Rwenzori region, the AGRi-LED agenda is a transformative strategic national initiative with the overall strategic direction of transforming local government systems to facilitate effective business oriented local development with a focus on poverty reduction and sustainable wealth creation.
In the next Financial Year 2019/20, I am happy to inform all of us that we will be focusing our efforts on the creation of Regional Farm Service Centers (RFSCs) strategically located to serve the respective surrounding districts. We will continue to work with the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF), Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS), Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) as well as the entire private sector fraternity involved in agro-input business to set up and operationalize the RFSCs.
A Farm Service Center is a one-stop-shop that offers agro-input services including seeds, fertilizers, crop protection products, and veterinary supplies as well as services like crop price information, veterinary advice, agricultural finance, capacity development trainings, and equipment leasing to farmers among others. In this grand undertaking, we aim to work with all the authorized importers, dealers and distributors of agro-inputs to build a reliable and sustainable agro-input system in Uganda as a sure way of ending the counterfeits menace. Aware that the African agricultural development challenge is logistical in nature, I invite you to read and internalize the corporate briefing statement on the Regional Farm Service Centers that will be published.
As we remember and pay tribute to the Heroes and Heroines of Uganda, lets us all resolve that working together, we can mobilize and organize our farming communities to farm better, produce more, process more, market more, earn more and live more meaningful lives and that we can achieve this in our lifetime! When we achieve this, each one of us will indeed be a hero!
As OWC, we appreciate the untiring support from H.E the President of Uganda to whom we extend our infinite gratitude. Many thanks to our staff, partners and collaborators for your work and engagement over the past years. Wishing all of us a Happy Heroes Day. Revolutionary regards!
Gen Caleb Akandwanaho Salim Saleh is the Chief Coordinator of Operation Wealth Creation.