The following text is of a presentation that was delivered by Ms. Agnes Kirabo, Executive Director of Food Rights Alliance at the Joint Agricultural Sector Annual Review (JASAR) that was organised by theMinistry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF)  and that was held from 29th to 30th August 2016 at Speke Resort Hotel Munyonyo. The presentation was voice recorded and transcribed byMs. Norah Owaraga, Managing Director of CPAR Uganda Ltd. Photo Credit: Daily Monitor. 

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, protocol observed. My name is Agnes Kirabo. I am here to represent the non-state actors. Chair through you, before I start this presentation, allow me to make two disclaimers:

  • It is not our sole responsibility that we are standing between you and your fundamental human right to food. It is actually an insult to me as a person and the organisation that I work for, because we believe in food first and everything later.
  • This presentation that am making before this house is not of my sole making, but is of the making of that wider stakeholder that am representing and therefore all the questions that may be raised I may not be solely responsible for answering them.

I was invited to share the experiences of non-state actors, especially civil society and NGOs (non-governmental organisations) and that is the composition of the group that has met several months ago in preparation for this important event.

Therefore, through you Chair, allow me on behalf of the non-state actors to commend the Government of Uganda (GOU) through MAAIF for opening up the window and the door at the same time to provide us with a platform to equally participate with you (extended applause).

Through you Chair, allow me to inform this house and the honourable ministers that the civil society put their brains together to come up with that image that has been significant in representing this JASAR; an image which we refer to as the JASAR image (applause).

So, that is how far and how little we have been part of this process. We are here to stay as long as MAAIF and the sector of agriculture still prevails.

Mr. Chair, I am supposed to share the role of CSOs (civil society organisations) and NGOs. I am pretty aware that everyone knows that we have two significant roles to play:

  • Providing a supplementary role to the GOU specifically through this sector.
  • The watch dog function