CSOs under the stewardship of the Civil Society Budget Advocacy Group (CSBAG) held a Post Budget dialogue for the FY 2018/19 at the UMA conference hall in Kampala on 21st June 2018. This dialogue was held under the theme; “Addressing Inequality for improved Service Delivery: Will the FY 2018/19 Budget Deliver?” This dialogue came at the heels of the just delivered budget speech by Hon. Matia Kasaijja the Minister of Finance Planning and Economic Development, on 14th June 2018. This budget speech highlighted specifically the resource envelope for the implementation of the country’s given prioritizes for the FY 2018/19.
Drawn under the theme Industrialization for Job Creation and shared prosperity, this budget for the FY 2018/19 totals to approximately UGX 32trillion, broke down into several priorities set for FY 2018/19. The FY 2018/19 budget comes at a time when the state is faced with social economic hardships including high levels of insecurity, high levels of poverty, high levels of food and nutrition insecurity, all expected to carry on to the planned FY 2018/19.
The post budget dialogue held therefore provided a platform for interaction between over 100 stakeholders in attendance including CSOs representatives, farmers from different regions, development partners, key representatives from various line ministries, agencies and departments, media, academia and youth representatives over the FY 2018/19 budget priorities and whether they will actually provide the envisaged shared prosperity and wealth to the ordinary citizen.
Specific to this discussion was the agricultural sector budget allocation for the FY 2018/19 and whether this will be enough to propel the country to shared prosperity and wealth given its centrality to economic transformation of Uganda as it contributes nearly 24.9% of the national GDP. This sector further contributes nearly 72.9% of the total national export earning while also accounting for the livelihood of about 80% of the country’s population.
This dialogue noted that the planned resources for this sector for the FY 2018/19 total to UGX 892.92 billion, representing 3.1% of the total proposed National budget. A further breakdown of the above resources highlighted the different intra-sectrol allocations as highlighted below.
During this dialogue, areas of concern that emerged from an analysis of this sector and its proposed allocations for the FY 2018/19 included issues around allocation to climate change given the fact Uganda’s agriculture is natural resource dependant. Issue of concern revolved around clarity on the specific allocation set aside towards building the sector resilient to climate change viabilities in the country. Further to this discussion, was concern over the increasing population growth rate in the country and how much of the total development allocation is going to translate into food during the year and of which quality.
Farmers at this dialogue further agonized over produce given the increased outbreak in pests and diseases specifically the new attack of the Army Fall Worm and others. Farmers asked for guidance on what the government has set aside to safe guard against the control of pests and diseases and the additional services that could be offered by the government like qualified extension workers.
In conclusion, stakeholders, called for prudent and efficient financing for this sector as its key to the functioning of other sectors.