Clarification on altered media reports regarding farmer registration as a component of the Agriculture Cluster Development Project (ACDP)

Clarification on altered media reports regarding farmer registration as a component of the Agriculture Cluster Development Project (ACDP)

The Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries hereby informs the general public that the media reports around the e-registration of farmers that was launched on the 30th of May 2018 carry ALTERED figures.

The e-farmer registration exercise was launched together with a much bigger project which is the Agriculture Cluster Development Project (ACDP).

It is that project that has a total cost of US$ 150 Million to facilitate the implementation of four components which are:

  1. On-farm production and Productivity
  2. Agricultural water management investments;
  3. Market linkages, storage and value addition; and
  4. Project management and coordination

Under the first component of ‘on-farm production and productivity’, the Ministry will be implementing an input subsidy programme, which will take the form of a time-bound partial and diminishing matching grant (subsidy) to help finance the purchase of key inputs and on-farm storage. Participating households will pay for a portion of the cost of the inputs and use the subsidy to pay for the remaining portion. For each participating household, this support will be provided for three consecutive crop cycles.

The subsidy will be operationalised through an e-Voucher system, an electronic-based financial service system that will facilitate transactions among the three parties involved, that is farmers, Government and agro-input dealers.

The e-Voucher system however requires that there is a clean and secure database of farmers, farmer groups as and agro-input dealers from which selection of the beneficiaries of the input subsidy programme can be selected.

It is against this background that the Ministry of Agriculture set out to carry out countrywide registration of farmers, farmer groups and agro-input dealers. The database will also be utilized for other government interventions in the agricultural sector and these do not include TAXATION as reported but rather enhancement of service delivery and organisation of the sector.

The breakdown of the $150 Million from the World Bank is broken down per component as below:

Component Amount (in USD Millions) Percentage of the total credit (%)
1 On-farm production and Productivity 85 57
2 Agricultural water management investments 5 3
3 Market linkages, storage and value addition 45 30
4 Project management and coordination

 

15 10

ACDP implementation has already kicked off in five pilot districts of Amuru, Kalungu, Iganga, Nebbi and Ntungamo. Farmer registration is currently ongoing in these five districts, which are nucleus districts spread fairly across the regions from which the registration exercise will be extended to the rest of the country.

Farmer registration is a sub-component of On-farm Production and Productivity and will cost US$ 1.7 Million.

On references to taxation and existing databases

The Ministry wishes to clarify that inform the public that the engagement with farmers has always been based on general databases.

The need for unique electronic registration arose from the fact that other general census databases did not capture special characteristics and trends in farming that have created new and urgent needs for farmers, one main one being agricultural financing needs and the growing need for water for agricultural production increased by effects of climate change as well as the need for improved seeds and fertilisers among other critical farm inputs.

The registration is therefore not a duplication of other registration exercises by government but rather a complementary approach to protect the sector against foreseen challenges with no intention to subject farmers to taxation as indicated by some reports.

Even as the two were launched on the same day, the US$ 150 million is the cost of the entire project.

Partnership with the media

Despite the above, the Ministry of Agriculture still recognises the Media as a major partner in influencing development and transformation and hereby advises all media representatives to always:
1. Contact the Communications and Public Relations Office for signed project documents without which projects are not implemented. These documents clearly show the expenditure and the purpose is to provide reference for all major stakeholders including the media. These also serve as backup to give credibility and defend the media against being misled.
2. A toll free line will be set up specifically for media engagements to keep the Ministry in constant touch with the media. Your work is highly appreciated and the Ministry is committed to will all to transform the sector even further..