The Senior Presidential Advisor on Diaspora Affairs, Amb. Abbey Walusimbi has called upon Ugandans living abroad to consider taking up investment in the agriculture sector given the condusive environment created by the NRM government.
The call was made during the Ugandan Diaspora Agri-food Investment E-Conference 2020 organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Diaspora Department in Partnership with Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and Uganda Agribusiness Alliance (UAA).
Amb. Walusimbi said that President Museveni has continued to express commitment to easing the challenges that would deter Diasporas from engaging into the agricultural sector which accounts for more that 23% of the country’s Growth Development Product (GDP).
“There is improved agricultural investment opportunities, better understanding of the market dynamics, better networking and partnerships between the rural institutions and Diaspora organizations,” Walusimbi said.
Walusimbi noted that as a person that has lived and coordinated Diaspora at different levels, he is certain that it is not enough to be successful on foreign land but there is a need for everyone to make positive contribution to the homeland.
“This is the reason why many of our Diasporas have shifted from constructing residential properties to procuring space with an agribusiness mindset,” Walusimbi said.
Walusimbi appreciated Diasporas for supporting Uganda’s agricultural sector by exporting several agricultural products to different parts of the world.
“As the saying goes that East or West, home is the best, so is the case with Ugandans in the Diaspora who have always relishes the feeling that comes with eating home food. When you are in Diaspora, one of the ways to feel at home is eating local dishes from our Ugandan/African food outlets,”Walusimbi said.
There are a number of mushrooming Uganda food outlets in United States of America (USA) and United Arab Emirates (UAE) which doesn’t only give the opportunity to awaken home taste buds but also a way of ensuring that there is sustainable agriculture in the homeland.
“Even if our Diaspora may not necessarily own agricultural farms, I can testify that much of the food items they use are ordered from home, God blesses our soil in a way that makes products from here taste uniquely yummy,” Walusimbi noted.
During the event, Ag Head of Diaspora Department at the Ministry, Dickson Ogwang said that engagement is aimed at transforming the society towards a better and quality population that is productive as well as encouraging Diasporas to return and invest in the agricultural sector.
Ogwang said that the event is in fulfilment of Diaspora Department’s core objective which is to Mobilize the Uganda Diaspora for National Growth and Development.
“We are working on achieving mindset transformation that will encourage our Diaspora to bring back home the right skills, necessary technology and financing that will promote investment in the various sectors of the economy to facilitate rapid growth and development,” Ogwang said.
He added that, “We believe that with the right skills, needed technology and financing we shall achieve great improvement in not only the quantity of our products but also the quality as there will be value addition on our products to be able to attract and retain good markets with great pricing both within the local markets, the region and in the global market.”
Other key dignitaries and speakers that graced the event at the Ministry were: Commissioner MAAIF Yofesi Ogwang, Asst. Commissioner Ministry of Agriculture Consolata Acayo, Uganda Agribusiness Alliance Representative, Dr. Victoria Sekitoleko and Food and Agriculture Organization United Nations Country Representative Dr. Antonio Querido.