Museveni: Coffee has Kept our Economy Afloat

L-R Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah, VP Edward Ssekandi, Speaker Rebecca Kadaga and Chief Justice Bart Katureebe at Parliament before Museveni digitally delivered his state of the nation address.

Coffee exports earned the country more than Shs 306.4 billion in the first two months of the Covid-19 lockdown, President Yoweri Museveni has told Parliament.

Museveni who digitally delivered to Parliament this year’s State of the Nation address from the Entebbe State House reported that in March and April, the country earned $45.87million (Shs 169.7 billion) and $36.928 million (Shs 136.7 billion) respectively.

Fish exports ranked in the second position fetching in more than $14.98million (Shs 55.4 billion) in March and $6.831million (Shs 25.3 billion) in April while maize exports brought in $10.23million (Shs 37.8 billion in March and $6.256million (Shs 23.1billion) in April.

Museveni also listed tea among the exports that kept the economy afloat, bringing in $5.15 million (Shs 19.05 billion) and $6.14 million (Shs 22.7 billion) in March and April respectively.

“Our agriculture is, therefore, not only feeding us almost 100 percent but also earning dollars for us of the magnitude of US$ 2.005 billion [approximately Shs 7.5 trillion],” Museveni said.

Museveni delivered this year’s state of the nation address exactly 78 days since he announced the lockdown to curtail the spread of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

Despite the various interventions, the number of Ugandans testing positive to Covid-19 continues to rise with more cases being reported today which has brought the tally to about 525 cases.

“Uganda is still standing and coping with the virus, the floods, the landslides, the rising water levels in the Lakes, the locusts, the floating islands, the security of the country, the crime, feeding millions of our people, etc. Why? It is on account of some of the few of our ideas that we have managed to implement, in spite of the endless opposition that we always face,” Museveni said.

Besides agriculture, Museveni reported that the ICT sector is also growing with nearly 1.3 persons employed by 380,896 companies in the sector.

“In spite of the obstructions by the neo-colonial actors and foreign backers, Uganda is able to stand up today and weather this storm because of the correct actions we took. The vulnerable portions of the economy, have collapsed. However, the real economy is standing up and expanding, especially in agriculture and industry,” Museveni said.

Museveni announced that government is to provide Shs 300 billion immediately to boost agricultural production and productivity for seedlings, fertilizers, irrigation, storage facilities and value addition

He also warned landlords against evicting tenants on account of not paying rent. He however revealed that discussions are ongoing between landlords and a group of tenants to find a solution.

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