KAMPALA – The Ministry for Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries has reported a sector growth of 4.4% in FY 2021/22 as compared to 4.3% in FY 2020/21.
Speaking at the ongoing NRM Manifesto Week 2023, Kyakulaga Fred Bwino – Minister of State for Agriculture noted that agriculture remains the main thrust of Uganda’s economic growth and is among the four key sectors highlighted in the Uganda Vision 2040 that will greatly contribute to wealth and employment creation.
The sector, he said contributed 24.1% of the national GDP and continues to employ over 70% of Uganda’s population directly or indirectly.
“In absolute terms, the GDP of the agriculture sector increased from UGX 35,360 billion in the FY 2020/21 to UGX 39,152 billion in the FY 2021/22.”
“The value of Agricultural export registered a tremendous growth of 24 percent from USD 1,678 million in FY 2020/21 to USD 2,085 million in FY 2021/22 thereby contributing 58% to the total exports in the FY 2021/22 compared to 33% in FY 2020/21. The performance was attributed to the increased volumes and quality of coffee, dairy, fish and tea exported,” he added.
Kyakulaga noted that his ministry has made several interventions in Agriculture that have led to increased employment, increased household incomes, food security and exports.
“[The] Government through UCDA has distributed 101,872,271 coffee seedlings (51,009,745 seedlings in FY 2020/21 and 33,756,000 seedlings in FY 2021/22 and 17,106,526 seedlings in the FY 2022/23). UCDA trained 2,313 value chain actors in good harvesting and postharvest handling practices that included only picking red ripe coffee.”
“UCDA stumped 16,857,218 old and unproductive coffee trees in the different regions these were motivated through the distribution of 573,268 bags of organic fertilizers. NARO has also developed and promoted new resistant varieties for coffee with a yield potential of up to 3.9 tons per hectare,” he said.
The minister revealed that the efforts in the coffee subsector have resulted into an increase in Coffee Production from 8.06 million 60kg bags in FY2020/21 to 8.45 million 60kg bags in FY 2021/22, noting that coffee exports have also increased from 6.08 million 60kg bags valued at USD 554.89 million in FY2020/21to 6.26 million 60kg bags valued at USD 862.22 million in FY 2021/22.
The ministry reported that the Government through NAADS has distributed 7,136,000 kgs of maize seed under the Food Security Initiative to 891,568 HHs including youths, women, older persons, PWDs and other vulnerable groups to establish 713,600 acres across the country.
“This has resulted to an increase in production of maize from 3.5Million MT in FY2020/21 to 4.7 million MT in FY2021/22.”
Mr. Kyakulaga noted that they have distributed 199,785,979 tea seedlings to districts of Zombo, Buhweju, Rubanda, Kisoro, Mitooma, Kanungu, Rukungiri, Ntungamo, Sheema, Rukiga and Bushenyi.
“These efforts have increased tea production from 67,000MT in the FY 2015/16 to 84,185 MT in FY 2021/22. These efforts have resulted in a 39% increase in the volume of exports from 54,898 MT (worth USD 74.5 million) in FY 2015/16 to 76,532 MT (worth USD 85.50 million) in FY 2021/22.”
According to him, they have distributed 612,552 bags of cassava cuttings to 8 DLGs in Acholi sub-region and 5 DLGs in Lango sub region as part of the Cassava commercialization project with Gulu Archdiocese.
“This commitment has been achieved 100%.”
Fruits (Citrus, Mangoes, Pineapples and apples)
“Government has distributed 2,966,418 citrus seedlings to 9,677 households to establish 9,677 acres; 3,638,271 mango seedlings to 15,620 households to establish 15,620 acres; 269,123 apple seedlings to 506 households to establish 506 acres and 7,926,666 pineapple suckers to 700 households to establish 700 acres.”
He said they have distributed, 3,256 calf heifers, 3,771,924 fingerlings(1,820,000 fingerlings of tilapia, 1,896,924 fingerlings of cat fish, 55,000 fingerlings of mirror cap), 101,387 kgs of fish feed,24,121 pigs, 97,000 layers chicks, 30,000 kuroilers and 91,600 broilers among others to further improve the livelihood of the 68% and also support their migration into the Money economy.
“Through NAGRIC, Government has established poultry hatcheries in Busoga and Buganda with incubators that, together have a capacity to hatch at least 9,600,000 eggs every year. Over 2.5 million chicks have been produced and availed to farmers with the main objective of promoting poultry enterprise countrywide.”
Also, he noted that NAADS Procured two mini dairy processing plants of capacity 250L/batch/hour each for beneficiaries in Isingiro and Sembabule.
In an attempt to improve the quality of the livestock breeds across the country, minister revealed that they have distributed 1,215 Artificial Insemination kits in Bukedi, Lango, Busoga, Acholi, Karamoja, Teso, Buganda, Kigezi, and Toro subregions.
“Due to the above interventions, the production of milk increased by 92% from 2.81 billion litres in FY 2020/21 to 5.4 billion litres in FY 2021/22 despite the reported drought in selected milk sheds in the country.”
In accordance with the Sugar Act 2020, NARO has started the process of establishing the National Sugar Research Centre. A draft cabinet Memo has been developed and is under consultations.
Minister Kyakulaga noted that they completed the construction of a 3-acre mini-irrigation scheme at Namulonge to support rice research specifically to boost the production of breeder and foundation seed, and a 5-acre seed certification mini-irrigation scheme at Namalere to support seed certification of other enterprises. Government also released 4 short maturing, drought-tolerant, high yielding (4.8-7t/ha) and disease resistant varieties of rice. This is to ensure access and availability of good quality rice seed by farnmers.
Also, he reported that Government supported 49 farmer organizations; Acholi (26), East Central (10), Teso (8), Elgon (3) and Lango (2)) with rice mills to support them in value addition and government is in the process of procuring 5 sets of rice mills is ongoing.
“Government through CDO has distributed 2,449 MT of cotton planting seed, 773,573 units of pesticides, 2,049 spray pumps and of 334 MT fertilizers (fertilizers were mainly for Prison Farms) to cotton farmers in Busoga, Bukedi, Bugisu, Teso, Lango, Acholi, West Nile, Mid-West & Central and Rwenzori Regions.”
He added, “Government distributed a total of 9,384 bales of lint to two local textile manufacturers; Fine Spinners (U) Ltd (located in Bugolobi, Kampala) and Southern Range Nyanza (NYTIL) located in Njeru. The two factories employ about 4,100 people and produce yarn, finished fabrics, T-shirts, garments, uniforms, bedsheets, curtain materials, etc for both domestic and export markets.”
The minister revealed that Government partnered with the private sector dealing in horticulture through their umbrella Organization (Hortifresh). The Main objective of this partnership is to support the private sector self-regulate and also create awareness amongst the producers and exporters of horticulture on both the agronomic and post-harvest handling practices. This has resulted in a reduction in Uganda’s agriculture products consignments resulting in rejections due to prohibited organisms, and failed to comply with maximum pesticide residue levels by 90%.
Accelerating disease control measures in livestock sector to meet international standards.
Accordingly, a total of 6,650,000 animal disease vaccines were acquired and distributed to farmers. These included 2.65M doses of FMD and 2,000,000 doses of LSD Vaccine, 2,000,000 doses of PPR.
He noted that the construction of Zonal Animal Disease Control centre in Got Apwoyo Nwoya district is at 95% level of completion and initiated the procurement process for the Zonal Animal disease control centre in Kiruhura district.
Increased access to agricultural finance and insurance services
“Data compiled from the reports on the Performance of the Economy by Ministry of Finance Planning and Economic Development (MFPED) shows that, the funding in terms of new loans to the agricultural value chain (production, marketing and processing) increased from UGX 1,127 billion in the FY 2020/21 to UGX 1,454 billion in the FY 2021/22. Agricultural financing registered the second highest increase of 29% followed by the Building, Mortgage, Construction and Real Estate sector at 22%. The share of agricultural financing to total financing increased from 11.3% in the FY 2020/21 to 13.1% in the FY 2021/22.”
The ministry said they have partnered with Wash and Wills Uganda limited for purchase of the single axle tractors/power tillers, implements and accessories at affordable price (tax waivers).
“In the meantime, Government procured additional 360 tractors and implements since FY 2020/21 bringing the total number of tractors procured by Government to 685. Government also procured seven hundred and forty (740units) units Single Axle (Low powered-walking tractors) tractors with all accessories to support farmers to open, plough more farm land for cultivation. These small machines also support value addition, irrigation and transportation of produce. Procurement of additional 120 tractors and matching implements is in advanced stages.”
Water for production and irrigation
Minister said the cumulative water for production storage capacity increased from 52.165 Million cubic meters in FY 2020/2021 to 52.48 Million cubic meters in FY 2021/22.
“The performance was attributed to the government’s deliberate effort to construct both on-farm and off-farm water for agricultural production facilities. Area under formal irrigation is now 22,797 ha up from 15,147 ha in 2017/18. Relatedly, the Government has procured two complete sets of heavy earth-moving equipment to support the establishment of water harvesting facilities across the country.”
Large Scale Irrigation Schemes
“The Ministry is constructing 2 large-scale irrigation schemes, Acomai irrigation Scheme in Bukedea District (1,480 ha targeting 1,600); Atari Irrigation scheme in Kween/Bulambuli District (680 ha targeting 2,667 HH).”
The ministry decried prevalent pests, vectors and diseases, notably; fall army worm, tick resistance, Foot and Mouth Disease which constrained the sourcing and timeliness of delivery of stocking materials,
Many input suppliers that do not have adequate capacity to produce adequate and quality inputs,
Inadequate critical facilities including analytical and diagnostic laboratories, motor vehicles (cars, motorcycles) for field activities, high-speed internet connectivity and office space,
Rejection of agricultural products in the regional markets due to non-tariff barriers (NTBs),
Overwhelming demand for inputs against a limited budget; including supporting unforeseen strategic/special interventions which require budget re-allocations in the course of budget implementation, and
Changing weather patterns which affect timely distribution of planting materials sometimes resulting into wastage of planting materials and low crop survival rates, excessive rainfall in some parts of the country affecting seasonal crops especially legumes.
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