Commissioner Piebalgs, launches a dialogue for a Public-Private Partnership to boost Investment in Agriculture and Agribusiness in Uganda
European Union Commissioner for Development Cooperation Mr. Andris PIEBALGS, has today participated, with the presence of Minister of Finance Hon. Maria Kiwanuka, Minister of Agriculture, Hon Tress Buchanayandi in a High Level Roundtable on "INVESTING IN AGRICULTURE, THE ENGINE FOR ECONOMIC GROWTH IN UGANDA: A PUBLIC PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP TO BOOST INVESTMENT", Kampala, Serena Conference Centre November 8, 2011
The Roundtable focused on how to boost private sector investments in agriculture, and the role of equity and loan financing in easing capital constraints for SMEs in the agribusiness sector.
Final outcome of the Roundtable was the signature of a Joint Declaration of Intentions, intended to set forth principles for dialogue and engagement to establish a Public Private Partnership (PPP), and to work towards innovative ways of financing support to private agriculture and especially small and medium enterprises in Uganda.
Speaking during the roundtable at Serena Hotel in Kampala, Commissioner Piebalgs stressed the importance of agriculture for Uganda as well as for the sub-region. While reaffirming the willingness of the European Union to support agriculture in Uganda, he reminded that efforts should also be made by the government especially in developing a consistent agriculture policy with sufficient budgetary allocation. At the same time, he said that if Uganda wants innovative financing to be developed in the agriculture sector, a conducive environment for the private sector should be set up and, for instance, a coherent legal framework should be designed and developed accordingly.
EU head of Delegation to Kampala Dr. Roberto Ridolfi said Uganda has the potential to be a regional food production hub, but this was constrained by lack of access to finance for farmers and agribusinesses.
Participants to the Roundtable included Governor of the Bank of Uganda, Prof. Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile, Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industries and Fisheries, Hon. Tress Buchanayandi, NSSF CEO Richard P. Byarugaba, representatives of the banking, agribusiness and farming sectors and other Development Partners involved in agriculture and private sector support.