By Namugerwa Martha

Minister of Agriculture, Animal industry and Fisheries Hon. Vincent Ssempijja has appreciated the International Fund for Agriculture Developments (IFAD) for lifting up Uganda’s rural areas economy through agriculture.

Ssempijja said this during IFAD conference at Speke resort hotel Munyonyo where delegates from East and Southern African converged on a 4 days visit from 22nd to 25th may.

“IFAD has been a reliable partner to Uganda and its model has enabled economic transformation of rural farmers,” Ssempijja said.

He added that IFAD has financed 16 rural development programs and projects at $1.4 Bn benefiting 5 million households in Uganda.

Ssempijja  also added that central bank had pushed for financial inclusions that responded to the needs of Ugandans especially those who were under served and also agency banking along with mobile money services have also expanded financial access points to rural areas.

“Users of mobile money have grown exponentially from 10,000 in 2009 to 21 million in 2015 thus more access to finance,” Ssempijja added.

Ssempijja further added that Uganda still has to address threats like climate change which directly affects agriculture yet it’s the one of the main sectors that this country depends on the most in finance and food.