The former Finance Minister of Uganda, Gerald Ssendaula has asked government and donors to increase funding allocations to agricultural research in the country. Ssendaula was speaking as one of the panelists at the launch of the 2015 Agricultural Finance Yearbook at Speke Resort Munyonyo. In his deliberations, Ssendaula said Agriculture was a sector the country couldn’t afford to give a row deal. “Agriculture pays when given the attention it deserves,” he explained. “If Uganda was importing food, the economy would be in shambles.” 

Ssendaula said there was need for farmers groups in order to have collective bargaining while negotiating credit. Strongest of all, he affirmed the need for research in the sector. “Research is key if Uganda's agriculture is to move to another level. Our coffee was attacked by wilt, it took more than 20 years to come up with replacement varieties due to lack of research,” said Ssendaula.

Ssendaula had no kind words for those who formed farmers groups along political lines describing such as “shallow and doesn’t make sense.” On what is the biggest killer of Uganda’s agriculture, he attributed it to the presence of middlemen in the sector. To Ssendaula, this can only be solved by establishing farmer markets. 

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