During the commissioning and inauguration of buildings at Bukalasa Agriculture College, President Yoweri Museveni urged the people of Luwero to engage in wealth creation activities such as commercial agriculture in order to fight poverty and increase their household incomes.
The President said that the NRM has for the last 60 years been advising Ugandans to seek first household income and the rest will be added unto them later after making sure that they are well in their households.
Gen. Museveni who was accompanied by the First Lady, Hon. Janet Museveni made the remarks while addressing the gathering at Bukalasa Agricultural College shortly after commissioning the new modern infrastructure that is meant to kickstart the process of transforming the college as a centre of excellence in agricultural training.
President Museveni also added that it is of no importance having very good infrastructure like; Hospitals, Roads and, Social services yet the people using them are very poor.
“Even if we make the roads, it will not take away the poverty in your home. A tarmac road will pass by your home and you will remain poor,” Gen Museveni said.
He went ahead and noted that the people in Kampala have very good roads but surprisingly many of them are so poor.
He said, “People in Kampala have the best roads but the poor people are so many. I started teaching these things to people 60 years ago. I used to teach them that the antidote for poverty is wealth, and it can move hand-in-hand with development as long as you are able to differentiate between the two and what benefits all of us. For example, the road belongs to us all; the hospital is for all of us but the wealth is mine alone or for us as a family.”
The President concluded by saying that Ugandans should desist from being diverted and gets to know that the medicine for poverty is wealth and that development just makes it easy for everyone to create wealth but even without development, everyone can still create wealth.
Also at the same event, the First Lady who is also the Minister of Education and Sports, H.E Janet Museveni informed the gathering that as Uganda strives to transform its human resource, Bukalasa and other technical colleges are going to quicken the process of industries to find home in the country because those who qualify from these colleges have got hands on in training and not just theoretical qualification alone hence transforming the country’s human resource.
She was also delighted to learn that Bukalasa has been equipped with modern machinery and buildings to add value to their products such as fruits, milk, and other agricultural products, saying that with time government can also build silos so that they can dry cereals and food stuffs.
“With time we can also build some silos so that they can store dry cereals and food stuffs. When we have food shortages, we can get help from these agricultural colleges or at least specialise in seed banking,” said the First Lady.
The First lady further thanked the President for striving to strengthen Uganda’s potential by investing in infrastructural development especially for higher institutions of learning both for universities and technical colleges.
“I am confident that with the skills we intend to build here and elsewhere, food shortages will not only be a thing of the past but also the people who live on the land who happen to be the majority of our communities will no longer live in poverty, considering that government has also invested heavily in the Parish Development Model. If more skilled personnel come from these colleges, the sky should be the limit,”. Janet said.
On behalf of the Ministry of Agriculture, Hon. Frank Tumwebaze thanked the Government for prioritising Bukalasa Agricultural College by enabling the continuation of skilling Ugandans to do amazing innovations and produce products ready for the market.
“The Ministry of Agriculture will sit with the Ministry of Education to discuss how we can support these institutions to cooperate with dedicated separate business arms that will help to commercialise their products,” Minister Tumwebaze said.
The commissioned facilities included; Milk and Food Processing House, Zero Grazing unit, Broiler and Layer unit, Piggery unit, Agro-processing unit, a Calf pen, a Demonstration unit, Laboratories, Classrooms, Library and ICT laboratory block. These were constructed at the cost of $11 million equivalent to approximately Uganda shillings 40 billion.
The college is among the five Colleges in Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET), referred to as centres of excellence. The other four include; Uganda Technical College Lira, Uganda Technical College, Elgon, Uganda Technical College, Bushenyi and Uganda Technical College, Kichwamba.
Micheal Woira – Communications Officer, Government Citizen Interaction Centre.