President Yoweri Museveni’s promise to provide hand hoes to farmers across the country during campaigns in the run up to the 2016 presidential elections is set to see light of the day after Parliament proposed that they be procured in the 2018/19 Financial Year.
According to the Report of the Budget Committee on the Supplementary Expenditure Schedule No. 1 and No. 2 for Financial Year 2017/18 obtained by Business Focus, the President directed that Shs84 billion be provided in FY 2015/16 for procurement of hand hoes to all farming households across the country.
In an effort to fulfill his promise, Museveni in 2015 directed Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda to plan for the purchase of 18 million hoes.
In a letter dated November 20th 2015 copied to the Vice President, Minister of Finance Planning and Economic Development, Secretary to the treasury and Permanent Secretary Office of the Prime Minister, Museveni said the hoes were to be distributed to six million households with each receiving three hoes.
“I direct that in the next financial year (2016/2017), you include in the budget the purchase of 18 (eighteen) million hoes. These hoes will be distributed to 6 (six) million households each receiving 3 (three),” the letter read, adding: “we had discussed this issue in the cabinet with a view of providing some hoes during the current financial year. What happened?”
The money was included as supplementary under the NAADS Secretariat.
“Unfortunately, the directive had never been actualized due to funding constraints. The Committee was informed that the process of procuring the hoes required a minimum period of 3 – 4 months, a fact that makes it almost impossible for the Ministry to procure the hoes before the end of the financial year,” the Committee report reads in part, adding: “The Committee proposes that the procurement be postponed to next financial year 2018/19 and the budget ceiling of vote 152 (Shs80bn NAADS Supplementary request) be revised accordingly.”
If Parliament adopts the Committee report, government will procure hand hoes for farmers in the Financial Year 2018/19 that start on July 1, 2018.