President Museveni has directed the Uganda Prisons Service to grow cotton as the country moves to stop importing second-hand clothes.
“We are going to take on a new mandate of diversifying from grains to cotton. We have done a pilot on 1,000 acres and this year, we are increasing to 2,000 acres,” Mr Johnson Byabashaija, the Commissioner General of Prisons said .
He added that the President issued a directive and gave them a target to produce one million bales of cotton per season in addition to the grain meant to feed prisoners.
Dr Byabashaija made the remarks last week while touring the 3,000-acre Isimba Prison Farm in Masindi District with the Minister of Internal Affairs and members of the Parliamentary Committee on Defence and Internal Affairs.
Internal Affairs Minister Rose Akol said the presidential directive is in line with a decision taken by East African leaders to abolish second-hand clothes.
“This is a strategic area that Prisons service would venture into and succeed compared to other government departments because of the facilities,” she said.
On March 2, the leaders of Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi at EAC heads of state summit in Arusha, directed the Council of Ministers to study the modalities of promoting textile and leather industries in order to stop importation of used clothes, shoes and other leather products.