About 80 percent of Uganda’s land is arable but only 35% is being cultivated. Uganda’s agricultural potential is among the best in Africa, with low temperature variability, fertile soils,and two rainy seasons over much of he country-leading to multiple crop harvests per year.
According to UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, Uganda’s fertile agricultural land has the potential to feed 200 million people.
Currently, the agriculture sector employs about 70% of Uganda’s working population, provides more than 33% of exports, contribution about 25.1% of the GDP, and provides food, feed and income security for most households in the country. Agricultural production in Uganda operates at less than 49% of its attainable potential for key staple crops.
The agriculture sector focus is “A competitive, profitable and sustainable agricultural sector” This will be achieved through transforming subsistence farming to commercial agriculture as envisage in the NDPIII and Parish Development Model (PDM).
Addressing the low productivity (yield per acre, output and quality of agricultural commodities to sustain domestic and export markets
The Ministry is undertaking a comprehensive update of the national soil suitability maps. This will help the farming community to understand exactly that kind of fertilizers are suitable for each farming region in Uganda. This will also help the extension workers to recommend the right fertilizers to be used in a particular farming area for a particular commodity. Therefore, Government will complete the already ongoing exercise of updating the National Soil Suitability Maps. This will involve our researchers in NARO Makerere University, the Ministry of Lands, Housing of Energy and Mineral Development.
The Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries has been promoting uptake of fertilizers and many farmers appreciate the difference in yields by those who use fertilizers and those who do not.
However, there is the challenge of low adoption of fertilizers use by small scale farmers. This is because small scale cannot afford the high coat of fertilizers.
High Levels of Post-harvest losses
Government approved the post-harvest loss reduction strategy which will guide creation of awareness, promotion of better harvesting, post-harvest handling and storage facilities.
Government has also supported 260 farmer groups to establish storage facilities across the county. These comprised of 34 stores for beans, 39 for cassava, 81 for coffee, 73 for maize and 33 for rice. This has resulted into a decrease in post-harvest losses to 18.2% compared to the 24.9% previously.
In the dairy sub-sector, the ministry has procured and distributed 485 milk handling equipment to different dairy stakeholders across the country. The high-grade milk handling equipment came in the three sixes (50L,25L and 10L) to facilitate clean milk post-harvest storage and transportation. A total of 60 dairy cooperatives and handling equipment country wide.
Accelerate diversification of the economy from over reliance on agriculture
The government through UDC is supporting setting up of industries to add value on the agricultural products.
The Government of Uganda through UDC invested in Kayonza Growers Tea Limited (lease financing) in the factory by installing a third CTC line of 600 KG?Hr capacity. The purpose was to improve efficiency of the factory including processing increasing tea leaf in the region delving from increased growing of tea by farmers in Kigezi region.
In October 2021, UDC recapitalized Mpanga Growers Tea Factory Ltd to the tune of UGX 4.34 billion of facilitate purchase of green leaf to improve capacity utilization, and to cover partial settlement of financial debts. Provisionally (pending valuation), UDC acquired 31.9% shares in the company.
The Government of Uganda through UDC intervened in Bukona Agro Processer Ltd by providing additional machinery and working capital for factory operations.
MAAIF has established 213 processing facilities for farmers organizations across the country. Thse included;64 coffee huller, 55 maize mills 5 sets of feed mills, 27 rice mills, 17 cassava mills and 31 beans sorters, 14 sets of milk cooler and matching generators. Other equipment included 58 weighing scales, 64 moisture meters and 27 driers.
MAAIF procured and installed under Rwenzori AGRILED program 57 motorized coffee pilpers (800kg of Cherie per hour) for 57 coffee wet processing stations under Bukonzo Organics farmers’ Cooperative Union & Mt Rwenzori Farmers’ Cooperative Union in Kasese District.
In an effort to develop agro-industries, MAAIF through NAADS installed additional 0.5 MT/hr pineapple processing facility for Kayunga.
In addition, Master plan and schem design documentation for the 12 MT/Hr Nwiya multi fruit processing factory building and key Auxiliary structures reviewed and approved by stakeholders and Procurement of construction works is ongoing. The country also had an outbreak of African Army Worm (caterpillars). This intervention contained the spread of the pest and currently no single district is affected.
Improving quality of coffee to achieve large coffee beans of screen 18 grade
UCDA stumped 14,014,385 old and unproductive coffee trees in the different regions these were motivated through distribution of 153,333 bags of organic fertilizers.
NARO has developed and promoted new varieties for coffee with a yield potential of up to 3.9 tons per hectare.
Distribution of the right planting materials to farmers obtained fom nurseries licensed by UCDA
UCDA has distributed 33,756,000 coffee seedling above the targeted 5,000,000 coffee seedling in FY 2021/22. The variation was due to high demand for Arabica seedlings to establish medium and large-scale coffee farms in Elgon, West Nile, Rwenzori and South Western regions couple with additional funding from government.
Famer education in equality assurance, such as picking only red ripe coffee
UCDA has distributed 33,756,000 coffee seedling above the targeted 5,000,000 coffee seedling in FY 2021/22. The variation was due to high demand for Arabica seedling to establish medium and large-scale coffee farms in Elgon, West Nile, Rwenzori and South Western regions coupled with additional funding from government.
Increase coffee production to 20 million 50kg bags by 2025
Coffee production in fy 2021/22 was 8.45 million 60kg bags which is an increment from 8.06 million 60kg bags in FY2021/22.
Support the setting up of a soluble coffee plant as well as coffee processing in Bugisu and Buganda
Sourcing for a service provider for the undertake a transaction and advisory service for the establishment if the coffee soluble plant.
Distribution of Maize
Distribution of 2,246MT of maize seed in FY2020/21. NAADS further distributed 3,957,844 Kgs of maize seed against a target of 728,723 Kgs in FY2021/2022. The seedwas distributed to 123 DLGs & 26 Municipalities across the county as well as to all Constituencies under the food Security Initiative for Constituencies to establish 395,784 acres for 791,568 Households including youths, women, old persons, PWDs and other vulnerable groups.
Establishment of a large-scale grain milling facilities in Kyenjojo, Bugiri, Sironko, Kapchorwa and Palisa.
NAAS Procured 10 sets of maize milling equipment 5 sets of feed mils and 5 sets of rice mills and assessment of potential beneficiaries still ongoing and delivery of the equipment to be concluded during FY 2022/23.