Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) was launched by H.E the President in July 2013 as an intervention to efficiently facilitate national socio-economic transformation, with a focus on raising household incomes and wealth creation by transforming subsistence farmers into commercial farmers to end poverty. This was after successful implementation with tangle outcomes of the pilot program launched to support Civilian-Veterans in the “Luwero-Rwenzori Triangle”
i) To mobilize the masses to engage in commercial agricultural activities to boost household incomes;
ii) To distribute production inputs equitably and timely to boost production and productivity at household level;
iii) To facilitate rural technological upgrading to allow smallholder farmers to transform themselves into small-scale industrialists;
iv) To stimulate local and community enterprise development across the country; and
v) To facilitate infrastructure development particularly in rural areas.
vi) To empower the 68% of the population outside the money economy.
Phase 1: Mobilization and deployment to ensure our farmers and the masses at large are sensitized to adapt to new farming methods with total mindset change to enable them earn to achieve economic social transformation of the vision 2020. This is now ongoing. This phase will end in July 2017
Since 2015, officers have been deployed in all the 112 districts, constituencies, including KCCA and municipalities.
Several inputs (seeds, seedlings, livestock, poultry etc), Value addition and mechanization equipment and technologies have been distributed and embraced overwhelmingly.
Phase 2: Stabilization of phase 1 efforts and to ensure policy change, make possible measures to acquire all identified gaps which could corrupt the system or allow saboteurs to reverse our achievements in phase 1 as discussed above.
Phase 3: Consolidation. Will now ensure that the masses embrace the most economic gains and guard it jealously to avoid possible negative influence that could derail these great achievements. Operations would also widen and deepen it to create popularity from within and beyond our borders to attract direct investors to increase opportunities to our new graduates. Establish skilling institutions to warrant sustainability for assured bright future of wealth beyond vision 2020.
Phase 4. Exit Strategy. Is to create a conducive environment to allow smooth hand over to the patriots.
a) We have created debate on service delivery approaches including use of the private sector in the agricultural sector development. The arguments are constructive and better results are expected in the near future.
b) We have identified the existing gaps for instance inadequate policy framework and regulation in the sector which will help to provide targeted interventions in agriculture.
c) We have increased interaction between government and the people; 6.2 million Ugandans have responded to OWC and are eager to participate. Many make requests for inputs and value addition equipment which are inadequate in quantities.
d) Together with NAADS, OWC has embarked on mobilizing stakeholders in the sector to build value chain platforms e.g. The fruit sector platform, the coffee sector platform and organic farmer’s platform etc. Such platforms have improved farmers bargaining power, knowledge, market search and also strengthened their voice in demanding and accessing for better services.
e) OWC has facilitated and participated in progressive debates in the agriculture sector towards increased productivity and growth. In collaboration with partners and universities, OWC has engaged in a number of studies whose findings can contribute to policy.
The Future of OWC
We have identified the major challenges that Uganda faces as:
a. How to convert agriculture into a high value sector, raise productivity, increase number of Ugandans engaged in commercialized agriculture, and increase house hold incomes.
b. How to expedite conversion of people from basic agriculture to industry and service sectors.
c. How to facilitate structural transformation of the economy to create more jobs for the thousands of young people that graduate from education institutions every year.
d. How to improve export performance to boost the value of the shilling to
international currencies. To address these challenges, we need to promote market demand-driven agricultural production. “Demand Creates Supply”.
This calls for stabilization of farm-gate prices, reduction of post-harvest losses, and value addition. These interventions will provide the incentive to peasants to raise productivity. Well-structured agro-processing will help achieve these goals.
On a broader scale, we need to squarely face the effects of Structural Adjustment Programmes (SAPs) on the command, control, coordination and communication (the 4Cs) of the development process in Uganda.
Effective coordination of all government agencies involved in the agricultural value chain and the development process at large is crucial to the pursuit of socio-economic transformation hence the Uganda Development Forum (UDF).