Uganda has been identified as one of the fastest growing economies in Africa, with Agriculture as a strong driver of inclusive growth as it contributes 23.4% of overall GDP, employs over 70% of the population and has been growing by between 1% and 3% since 2010. Uganda’s agricultural growth is the result of strong market support from the private sector and robust local demand for crops currently under production. Government of Uganda (GoU) priorities are clearly outlined in the Agriculture Sector Strategic Plan (ASSP) 2015-2020. Effective delivery of this strategy will enable Uganda to achieve inclusive agricultural transformation by striving to contribute to wealth creation and employment through implementation of actions for value chain development of twelve priority and four strategic commodities.
Despite the growth over a number of decades, a number of challenges persist and sector growth has not been smooth. Yield gaps range between 50-75% for many commodities and the uptake of improved seeds and fertilizers is quite low. As a result of low productivity in the sector, 83% of the population is said to be minimally food insecure resulting in 26% undernourishment. With the highest population growth rate (3.3%) and fertility rates ( 5.9%) in sub-Saharan Africa there is a need to stimulate agriculture production for Uganda to feed its growing population.
AGRA’s strategy will leverage current private and public sector investments by prioritizing initiatives that complement the work of other actors to significantly increase smallholder farmers’ income, food security and nutrition by driving productivity, strengthening linkages between market and production systems, supporting government to deliver on its priorities and supporting development of an improved enabling environment. AGRA’s strategy emphasizes gender inclusive transformation through gender integrated approaches to drive equitable access to inputs, finance and agriculture education. The strategy draws heavily from lessons learned from AGRA’s past investments totaling ~$31 million in Uganda’s agriculture in capacity development, input systems development, market development and post-harvest management. AGRA investments will focus on the following strategic choices:
- At National level, interventions will seek to support government in coordination and implementation towards meeting goals set under ASSP 2015-2020 as well as identifying and operationalizing staple crop flagship projects that strengthen national and sub-national coordination, and stimulate strong sector growth. AGRA will support evidence based policy making and advocacy to drive the implementation of relevant laws & regulations.
- At the systems level, AGRA will facilitate interventions that unlock market failures and systemic issues. In particular investments will support the development of a national agriculture finance policy and strengthen the national agriculture credit facility to include incentive based risk sharing facility. AGRA will also support development of structured and integrated trading systems that drive effective and efficient small holder access to inputs, finance and markets. Investments will also seek to unlock private sector investments in blended fertilizer facilities and input distribution and to support commercialization of disease and drought tolerant seed varieties for selected crops.
AGRA support will focus on selected value chains and regions and will seek to impact 1.5m smallholder at an estimated cost of US$ 23.9m.