State Minister for Finance in charge of General Duties David Bahati

Cabinet has directed the State Minister for Finance, Planning and Economic Development in charge of General Duties David Bahati to seek parliamentary approval to borrow US$ 75.82 million from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to support the growing of palm oil in Uganda.

Chaired by President Yoweri Museveni, Bahati presented the proposal and noted that the said funds will support the National Oil Palm Project (NOPP) and contribute to sustainable poverty reduction in the project areas.

‘’Development objective of this project is to increase the domestic production of vegetable oil and it’s byproducts, raising rural incomes for smallholder producers and ensuring the supply of affordable vegetable oil products to Ugandan consumers and neighboring regional markets,’ Bahati said during the cabinet meeting held at State House, Entebbe, last evening.

According to minister, the project will cover ‘climatically suitable areas’ within a radius of approximately 30km, in which at least 3,000 hectares of small holder oil palm production can be assured. The beneficiary areas include Buvuma Island, Mayuge, Masaka and Rakai.

‘The project will consolidate the investments undertaken under vegetable oil project, phase two and support oil palm communities with activities complementary to oil palm investment,  but will not expand the area under oil palm production,’ Bahati said.

By May last year, Bank of Uganda State of the Economy report indicated that Uganda’s external and domestic debt had reached US$11.2 billion acquired to facilitate the construction of various government projects including the refurbishment of hospitals.

Meanwhile, at the Entebbe meeting, cabinet approved Busuubizi Core Primary Teachers’ College in Mityana District as the venue for this year’s International Women’s Day on March, 8 2018, under the theme ‘Empowerment of Rural Women and Girls’ Opportunities and Challenges’. President Museveni will preside over the ceremony.

Cabinet also, among other issues, discussed and approved the proposal to borrow up to US$19 million from the African Development Fund Financing to support the Kampala Sanitation Programme Phase One, aimed at improving the sewerage situation in Kampala city.