The Government has finally unveiled its economic stimuli and growth strategy that will be implemented commencing next financial year and in the medium term.
Minister of Finance, Matia Kasaija said the economic stimuli is aimed at improving wellbeing of Ugandans, boosting economic transformation, and improving peace, security and good governance.
Kasaija who was presenting 2020/21 National Budget said that coronavirus pandemic has brought to the fore the need to ensure adequate food security and nutrition within the country.
He said that government intends to develop 14 products that will be developed commercially including; maize, cassava, banana, beans, Irish potato, sweet potato, millet, sugar cane, cattle (beef), dairy, coffee, tea, cocoa and fish.
To reduce post-harvest loses, Government intends to construct storage facilities of 42,000 metric tonnes capacity that commenced in Iganga, Isingiro, Amuru, Kalungu, and Nebbi.
Minister Kasaija said, “In order to improve Nutrition, Government will aggressively implement programmes to ensure adequate sensitization and awareness of all Ugandans on the benefits out of good nutrition for their health and wellbeing. I would like to encourage all Ugandans to embrace healthy living through nutrition, wellness and active living.”
Government has also encouraged Ugandans to place due emphasis on physical and mental activity by exercising regularly and making healthy choices of food, and by reading and writing.
The Minister also added that in order to promote health for all Ugandans, Government will strengthen health systems saying that this has kicked off by increasing health spending to ensure the recruitment of additional health workers and also provide for their welfare.
“In order to deal with the Coronavirus pandemic and other similar epidemics that may occur in the future, Government has prioritized the purchase of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Additional funding has been provided to increase Intensive Care beds at National and Regional Referral Hospitals,” said Kasaija.
Government also revealed that funding has been availed to procure Corona Virus test kits and other materials in order to curb the spread of the virus and ensure readiness for possible secondary waves of infections, with Kasaija noting, “Government will enhance surveillance and decentralisation of management of the Corona Virus in the country. Government will also support scientific research and innovations especially in vaccine development.”
In order to ensure universal access to safe and clean water and improved sanitation, Government plans to construct nine Gravity Flow Schemes (GFS), Forty solar powered Water Supply Systems; and drill 455 water wells.
There are also plans to intensify monitoring and forecasting of weather and water levels, floods and effectively disseminate information to guide policy actions by stakeholders and enforce environment protection regulations for settlements on lake shores, riverbanks, wetlands, forests and flood prone areas.
Kasaija also revealed that the government has set aside Shs45b to intervene on the vulnerable population especially the elderly who require protection to address the aftermath of the recent emergencies that will involve the continued provision of relief aid in response to the Coronavirus crisis, and natural disasters such as the locust invasion and climate change crisis floods and landslides.
There are also plans to roll out the Social Assistance Grant for the Elderly (SAGE) nationwide to persons aged 80 years and above, including the elderly aged 65 years in the piloted 15 districts with Shs107b set aside for this intervention.
For the transformation of the education system, Government placed emphasis on rolling out the new education curriculum, including Early Childhood Development (ECD) curriculum, improve the quality of tertiary education institutions by ensuring their adequate staffing and increasing the emphasis on academic research.
Government also highlighted developing the provision of lessons through digital platforms such as TV, Radios and the Internet to ensure continuous learning and implement the electronic delivery mode in validation and distribution of self-learning materials to learners.