CHINA - The Ugandan government is in talks with China to boost agricultural production in the East African country, Uganda's minister of agriculture Tress Buchanayandi said Thursday.
Buchanayandi said that they are negotiating with China to have a second phase of the current agricultural project where China sent 31 Chinese agricultural experts and technicians to Uganda.
"They have been extremely useful that is why we went out to go for second phase," Buchanayandi said during a meeting with a visiting team of Chinese agricultural enterprises and officials from China's Sichuan province.
The meeting was also attended by Uganda's Vice-President Edward Ssekandi.
Mr Ssekandi told the Chinese delegation that the government is ready to deepen cooperation with China in the agricultural sector which is the backbone of the country's economy.
Mr Ssekandi said what Uganda now needs is mechanized farming to boost agricultural productivity.
"I welcome these business initiatives to Uganda. Such programs make the South to South cooperation seem to be a reality," he said.
The business delegation among which include tractor makers from Sichuan province will make field visits to see what opportunities are there in the agricultural sector.
"We shall hold discussions with the UN Food and Agricultural Organization and ministry of agriculture on further implementation of phase two," said Tu Jianhua, vice-director of Sichuan Provincial Department of Agriculture.
Under the first phase of the project which started in October 2012 and was to last two years, China donated $1.5 million. The project created $487,000 in direct economic benefits.
The project is implemented through a tripartite agreement with China, FAO and the Ugandan government.
TheCropSite News Desk