Highlights of sector progress, opportunities and commitments at the 2018 Joint Agricultural Sector Annual Review

The national events of the 2018 Joint Agricultural Sector Annual Review (JASAR) organized by the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) and partners took place from the 28th to the 29th of August 2018 under the theme “Building Resilience to Climate Change Effects to Enhance Agricultural Productivity.

Above: The opening panel of the 2018 JASAR included (from left to right) Dr. Robert Khauka the Assistant Commissioner for Monitoring and Evaluation in the Planning Department, the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee for Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries,  Mr. Pius Wakabi the MAAIF Permanent Secretary, Hon. Vincent Bamulangaki Sempijja the Minister for Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries and Mr. Joris Van Bommel the Head of the Development Partners Group.

The review which was a climax of field tours of Ministry projects was supported by the United States Agency for International Development and Non-State Actors including the Food Rights Alliance.

During the review, Hon. Vincent Sempijja the Minister for Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries highlighted the importance of the sector, achievements to date and commitments for financial year 2018/19.

The agricultural sector not only stands out as a source of livelihood to over 80% of the households in Uganda but also as one that is on track with implementation of commitments as made in the 2016-2021 Manifesto of Government. Government also considers agriculture as a core sector in the creation of jobs especially for the youth and achievement of Vision 2040  – Hon. Vincent Sempijja, Minister for Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries 

Achievements as presented at the 2018 JASAR

Over the past two years the sector reached 24.9% contribution to national Gross Domestic Product and 72.9% of the total national export earnings.

Over the same period the acreage planted for the perennial crops has increased substantially with tea spanning over 32,000 acres, oranges on 171,000 acres and 176,000 acres for mangoes.

These are sources of numerous opportunities for value addition and direct input for agro-processing factories and therefore job creation especially for the youth and women.

Uganda has also experienced remarkable growth in the production of other priority crops such as Coffee from 3.6 million 60-kilogram bags to 6 million 60-kilogram bags bags; Maize from 185,000 metric tonnes to 1.5 million metric tonnes; tea from 65,000 metric tonnes to 130,000 metric tonnes and Beans from 32,000 metric tonnes to 500,000 metric tonnes.

For coffee, Uganda was exporting 3,556,692 60-kilogram bags of coffee worth 351,153,000 USD as a country by Financial Year 2015/16.

However, for Financial Year 2016/17, Uganda managed to increase this to 4,186,606 60- kilograms bags worth 490,250,000 USD which is an increase of 14%.

Between July and March this Financial Year 2017/18 the country has already exported 3,521,850 60 kilogram bags 391,590,000 USD, moving towards achieving the national target of 20 million bags by 2025.

Government is also putting strategic investment into Oil Palm and Oil Seed growing across the country as committed to in the Manifesto.

In Kalangala for instance, 10,924 hectares of Oil Palm have been cultivated by organized smallholder farmers supported by a Public Private Producer Partnership between Government, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and private sector players including BIDCO Uganda Limited.

The financing model under this project is uniquely successful, having enabled the farmers, majority of whom are smallholder farmers to pay back over 51 billion Uganda Shillings from loans from government which have delivered visible growth in profits and remarkable livelihood improvement.

These are fruits of the Vegetable Oil Development Project (VODP2).

Above (Left to right): Hon. Vincent Bamulangaki Sempijja the Minister for Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, Mr. Kodey Rao the BIDCO Managing Director and Mr. Pius Wakabi Kasajja the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries at the 2018 Joint Agricultural Sector Review in Kampala. BIDCO is the main private sector partner in the VODP2 project.

Under the same project, more land has been acquired and the private sector partners are setting up the nursery beds. This project is compliant with requirements for environmental conservation and has respected the 200-meter buffer zone, protection of forest reserves and afforestation.

The animal sub-sector has also received more focus over the past two years of the Manifesto, during which the Directorate of Animal Resources has stepped up efforts to recruit, organise and equip veterinary officers.

The National Animal Genetic Resources and Databank has also improved the beef animal’s average daily weight gain to 250 grams per day with F1- 50% and this has reduced the market age tremendously from 3 to 4 years to 1 to 1.5 years.

This implies that farmers who are investing in animals for beef can now realise their returns on investment in a much shorter period of time.

For poultry, Kuroiler chicken which are disease resistant and fast-growing have been introduced by the same Agency.

The Kuroilers lay between 150 to 200 eggs in a year compared to the 40 eggs produced by the indigenous birds.

The cocks weigh between 3-4 kg within four months.

To ensure that Uganda benefits from this 2,305,194 kuroilers were distributed to 5,500 households and 40,000 birds have been exported to the regional markets.

The goats have been improved to reach an average daily weight gain (ADG) of 145g/day compared to 25 to 30 g/day for the indigenous goats. This has resulted in an increase in household income by 67% per goat from sales.

The same Agency (NAGRC&DB) has also introduced early-maturing pigs which can produce at 10 months at an estimated weight of 80 to 90 kgs live weight compared to the indigenous ones which do so at an average weight of 40 to 60 Kgs. Breeds such as Comborough can produce over 14 piglets (28 piglets/animal/year) and at market price of 150,000/- and this translates into 4,200,000/= per sow per year for the farmer.

Above: Panelists for the side session on productivity. After the main opening event, participants in the sector review hold discussions and propose solutions in six thematic groups including productivity, Knowledge, marketing, agricultural finance, infrastructure and another for registration and certification.

In addition to the investment in the above-mentioned areas, the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries is also stepping up efforts to increase access to agricultural mechanization and water for agricultural production through the Department of Agricultural Infrastructure, Mechanization and Water for Agricultural Production.

The available heavy earth-moving machines have been used to clear bushes and open over 11,000 acres of farm land for agricultural production in various parts of the country and to rehabilitate 158 farm access roads (about 420 kilometers) in fourteen (14) districts country wide.

Government is now set to open regional mechanization centres to increase access to the machinery for all categories of farmers across the country.

To this effect the Ministry has also supported the recruitment of 33 Senior Agricultural Engineers in 33 District Local Governments.

On improving post-harvest handling practices and techniques especially for grains, the Ministry is fast-tracking the process of establishing silos in the country through public private partnership.

This, according to the Minister will go a long way in addressing the interplay of forces of demand and supply which have been pushing the prices of crops like maize to low levels especially during the bumper harvest.

Above: One of the best practices of post-harvest handling promoted by the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries is the drying of grain on tarpaulins as opposed to drying grain on bare ground.

Issues of aflatoxins which have been arising from poor post-harvest handling of crops (especially poor storage and drying grain on bare ground) are to be urgently addressed through a countrywide campaign that is expected to be launched later this year by His Excellency the President.

This is being worked on through the Directorate of Crop Resources working closely with the Partnership for Aflatoxin Control in Africa.

The issue of adulterated agro-inputs will be dealt with by the e-voucher system that is also to be rolled out under the Agricultural Cluster Development Programme (ACDP) that is supported by the World Bank.

This is being reinforced with increased inspection and regulation by the Department of Crop Inspection and Certification across the country.

Above: Participants from the Ministry, Private Sector, Civil Society Organisations, Development Partners, Farmer Groups and other Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government at the 2018 national edition of the Joint Agricultural Sector Annual Review in Kampala on the 28th of August 2018.

The fight against the Fall Army Worm, has been largely supported by Government, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) and other partners since the outbreak in the first season of 2017.

More recently the FAO, contributed a consignment of pheromone traps and more equipment for monitoring and controlling the Fall Army Worm.

In the animal and livestock sub-sector, we are embarking on increased partnership and inter-ministerial efforts under the One Health Campaign to handle animal diseases and the zoonotic diseases which affect our people too.

Through the Directorate of Animal Resources, the Ministry is also embarking on the construction of quarantine stations along the borders and holding grounds along the livestock routes.

In addition to these steps, the Ministry will be carrying out vaccination of in all border districts and constructing zonal laboratories to increase livestock disease diagnosis.

For some time now the country has had the challenge of resistant ticks.

To counter this, the Ministry will be carrying out cleansing of these resistant ticks with newly-introduced acharicides.

After the cleansing exercise, the Ministry will embark on acharicide zoning which should enable us to inform our farmers regarding which acharicide to use for the respective zones.

To address the issue of job creation for the youth, the Ministry is unpacking the Youth in Agriculture Strategy through the Extension Directorate as a strategy that will enable us to highlight areas where the youth can best be supported.

All the work that is being done is guided by the National Development Plan and the National Agriculture Policy currently being implemented through our five-year Agricultural Sector Strategic Plan (ASSP) for the period 2014/15 to 2019/20.

The strategic plan and the policies are being supported by more that should not only be completed this financial year but have their implementation done effectively.

Among these are policies that have been approved by Top Management and these include National Rangeland Management Policy, the Plant Genetic Resources for Agriculture Policy and Delivery of Veterinary Services Policy.

The progress reached is as a result of strategic planning and investment, partnership with the private sector, Development Partners, research, academia and all stakeholders represented here today.

Above: One of the field teams of the 2018 JASAR regional field tours at the Busia Boarder Post which is one of the structures improved by Government with the aim of at enhancing inspection as well as export and import of among others, agricultural products.

Notes to editors

Below are additional details for editors.

About the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF)

The Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries is a Ministry in the Government of Uganda charged with creating an enabling environment in the Agricultural Sector.

The Ministry formulates, reviews and implement national policies, plans, strategies, regulations and standards and enforce laws, regulations and standards along the value chain of crops, livestock and fisheries.

Vision: A competitive, profitable and sustainable agricultural sector.

Mission: To transform subsistence farming to commercial agriculture.

See strategic objectives here.

See Agriculture Sector Strategic Plan here.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) is made up of four Directorates including the Directorate of Crop Resources, Directorate of Animal Resources, Directorate of Agricultural Extension Services and the Directorate of Finance and Administration each with Departments, Divisions and Partnership Projects.

The Ministry is also made up of seven Agencies including the National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO), the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS), Cotton Development Organisation (CDO), Dairy Development Authority (DDA), Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) and Coordinating Office for the Control of Trypanosomiasis in Uganda (COCTU) and the National Animal Genetic Resources Centre and Databank (NAGRC&DB).

About JASAR

Every Year, the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries organises the Joint Agricultural Sector Annual Review (JASAR) with partners.

The primary objective of the JASAR is to review the performance of the agricultural sector for the previous financial year and to propose a way forward of moving the agriculture sector.

Like the reviews held before, the JASAR will follow best practices of sector reviews which require balanced representation of the private sector, civil society, farmers’ organizations, Development Partners, Local Governments alongside Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies.

Specific Objectives of JASAR

This JASAR, which is being organized in partnership with USAID will also target the following specific objectives.

  1. To create a platform for stakeholders in the agriculture sector including; political leaders, sector institutions, decentralized structures, private sector, civil society and development partners to discuss and review the performance of the agriculture sector, as well as its associated policies and programs
  2. To assess the trends in overall sector performance based on relevant Sustainable Development Goals, CAADP, the National Development Plan (NDPII) and the Agricultural Sector Strategic Plan (ASSP) indicators
  3. To assess the progress of implementation of sector priorities for Financial Year 2017/18 as set out in the Ministerial Policy Statement and sector Budget Framework Paper
  4. To assess sector public financing for Financial Year 2017/18
  5. To assess progress made towards the agreed actions from the 2017 JASAR
  6. To appraise the stakeholders on the sector priorities for Financial Year 2018/19
  7. To provide recommendations for increased effectiveness and efficiency in sector performance.

The activities before the national events involve tours of regions of the country to visit areas where initiatives have been implemented and assess the need for future interventions.

The national events of the 2018 Joint Agricultural Sector Annual Review (JASAR) organized by the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) took place from the 28th to the 29th of August 2018.