Agriculture Cluster Development Project (ACDP)

1. BACKGROUND
Agriculture is among the top five priorities in the National Development Plan. The Agriculture Sector Strategic Plan (ASSP) is aligned to the agriculture chapter of the NDP II and the CAADP compact. Implementation of these frameworks required detailed implementation plans. With the Technical Assistance of the World Bank (P124856), the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industries and Fisheries (MAAIF) came with Action Plans which were launched in November 2012 by the Vice-President of the Republic of Uganda. These plans form the basis for the Agricultural Cluster Development Project (ACDP). Five focus commodities (maize, beans, rice, cassava and coffee) have been selected according to the priorities articulated in the ASSP.

At present, agriculture remains the largest single economic sector in Uganda yet lags far behind the rest of the economy in terms of productivity. At present, Uganda’s agricultural productivity remains very low, due to limited use of improved agricultural technologies such as fertilizers, improved seed, mechanization and irrigation. Despite abundant rainfall and vast rivers and lakes, farmers are unable to manage and utilize available water resources for agriculture due to poor irrigation infrastructure and poor water management. In addition, there are weak market linkages. The Cluster project is designed to contribute towards addressing these constraints.

The activities and investments to be supported under the Agriculture Cluster project are organized into four components;
• Component 1; Support to Agriculture production and productivity - To support activities related to expanding access to and use of key agricultural inputs.
• Component 2; Increase access and management of Water for Agricultural Production (WfAP) -To support the rehabilitation and expansion of existing small irrigation schemes for rice, assist formation of water user groups and look at water management and conservation.
• Component 3; Support post-harvest handling - To support activities and investments to improve post-harvest handling of the selected commodities and to improve the efficiency of output markets for these commodities and would also support measures to eliminate bottlenecks and trouble spots on rural access roads and market places.
• Component 4; Project Coordination and Management, Policy, Regulatory and ICT Functions of MAAIF- To support capacity building and operations of the key institutional actors (particularly MAAIF, District governments, farmer organizations, and cluster committees). Component 4 would also support activities to develop, improve, and implement policies and regulatory frameworks for the production and marketing of the 5 selected commodities.

Demand for the selected crops (maize, rice, beans, cassava and coffee) in national and regional markets is high Demand for the selected crops (maize, rice, beans, cassava and coffee) in national and regional markets is high. Increased agricultural production and exports to markets in the East African Community (EAC) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) can greatly improve Uganda’s food security and macro-economic stability.

2.0 PROJECT DEVELOPMENT OBJECTIVES
To raise productivity, production, and commercialization of selected agricultural commodities in specified clusters of districts across the country.

2.1 Project Purpose:
• Enhanced production and productivity of selected commodities for exports to the regional
markets
• Increased proportion of selected commodities marketed to the regional markets through
formal channels

2.2 Specific Objectives
1. Increased farmer access and use of yield enhancing technologies including improved seeds and planting materials, fertilizers, labour saving technologies and water for agricultural production;
2. Sustainable increase in the value and quantity of agricultural products (primary and value added) marketed in the EA and COMESA regional markets;
3. Improved enabling environment for increased private sector investment, participation and fair play in agricultural value chains;
4. Strengthened capacities of farmers, farmer institutions, private sector firms and associations and public sector agencies in fulfilling their roles in the agricultural sector.

3.0 Scope of the project
Support from the proposed project would be concentrated on production and marketing of the selected commodities in twelve (12) geographic clusters. A commodity cluster is an area covering on average 3 districts, with proven potential for one or two of the selected commodities. The beneficiary districts include; Masaka, Mpigi, Rakai, Iganga, Bugiri, Namutamba, Pallisa, Tororo, Butaleja, Kapchorwa, Bukwo, Mbale, Soroti, Serere, Amuru, Nwoya, Gulu, Apac, Kole, Oyam, Lira, Dokolo, Kabarole, Kamwenge, Kasese, Kyenjojo, Kyegwega, Mubende, Kibaale, Hoima, Masindi, Kiryandong, Ntungamo, Kabale, Bushenyi, Isingiro, Nebbi, Arua , Maracha and Yumbe.

4.0 Expected outputs.
1. Availability of seeds and planting materials improved. The project will support national seed sector development (for maize, rice and beans) and it will also support production of planting materials (for cassava and coffee).
2. Access to and use of quality inputs (seeds and fertilizers) increased. The project will support and increase in farmers’ use of appropriate inputs.
3. Integrated pest & disease control/management. ACDP will strengthen the development of integrated pest and disease management including tolerant varieties, good agricultural practices and reasonable use of pesticides.
4. Stakeholders trained on how to utilize the enhanced inputs effectively and the good agricultural practices.
5. Irrigation and drainage infrastructure developed (including internal and access roads to selected schemes) opened.
6. Integrated soil and water conservation/ management (including watershed protection) for irrigation areas and associated buffer zones.
7. Farm- and community-level post-harvest handling and storage improved to improve product quality and revenues through improved handling, grading, bulking and storage.
8. Input & output regulatory functions and standards Strengthened to provide a favorable environment for project implementation.

5.0 Performance indicators.
1. Acreage of land opened for the selected commodities.
2. Yields of the selected commodities.
3. Quantity of green revolution technologies in use by farmers.
4. Number of farmers, input dealers, traders, exporters, processors participating in the selected commodities.
5. Quantity and value of exports of the selected commodities in MT to the regional markets.
6. Proportion of selected commodities marketed
7. seasonal variability (%) of targeted food commodity prices in local markets; and proportion of direct project beneficiaries who are female and youth.

6.0 Technical description of the project
The ACDP project will support a number of activities designed to raise both productivity and overall production of maize, beans, cassava, rice, and coffee in 12 selected high potential agricultural areas (these selected areas are termed clusters in Uganda. The project will address the following;
1. Improve access to use of key agricultural inputs like, improved seeds and fertilizer
2. Rejuvenation of coffee plantation through a five year rotational blocks system.
3. Rehabilitation and expansion of a number of existing irrigation schemes. The irrigation schemes to be supported under the proposed project primarily focus on intensification of lowland and upland rice production.
4. Support improvement of access to key production areas through investing in improvements in access roads for these areas – in this regard, the proposed project would not upgrade entire roads, but would support work to overcome troublesome bottlenecks in existing roads (bottlenecks such as washed out bridges, frequently flooded areas of roads travelling through swamplands or low places.
5. Improve post-harvest aspects of the marketing chain for each of the five commodities. This would involve, inter alia, facilitating and supporting investments by farmer groups and or agribusiness firms with key handling, storage, processing, and other equipment and facilities needed in the marketing of farm output
6. Linking beneficiary producers with potential buyers of their outputs (both domestic and foreign).
7. Regulations and standards for inputs and outputs will be developed and mechanisms for their enforcement will be developed and supported.

8.0 Plan of operation
1. The coordination and implementation of ACDP will be mainstreamed as far as possible in the Government systems at national and district levels. There will be streamlined programming, financial management, and procurement, monitoring and reporting systems which will effectively support the implementation of project.
2. There will be a National Project Steering Committee (NPSC) to provide overall guidance to the project. This will be chaired by the Permanent Secretary of MAAIF, representation of key stakeholders.
3. A lean National Coordination Team (NCT) will be established within MAAIF chaired by the director of The Directorate of Crop Resources (DCR). NCT will be responsible for day-to-day coordination and management of the project. The unit will have the following staff: Unit head, accountant, procurement officers, M&E specialist.

9.0 Sustainability
1. The selected commodities are already being produced by farmers in the proposed project districts. Through sensitization, farmers will be positively inclined to take up and adopt the green revolution technologies. Private sector and financial institutions participation and strengthening will provide opportunities and mechanisms for sustained availability and access of the green revolution technologies by farmers through the output market.
2. The project’s implementation follows the principle under which most activities are implemented at the district level, by public services and farmers’ organizations. Institutional sustainability will also be achieved because project implementation will be mainstreamed into government structures.
3. The sustainability of project activities will depend to a large extent on the degree of ownership and internal management capacity of farmers’ cooperatives, and their capacity to further develop the investments made under the project.
4. The ACDP will support sustainable productivity growth in small-scale farming systems and post-harvest handling. Market and agribusiness services and support will stimulate agricultural growth and stakeholders’ revenues by adding value and enhancing producers’ links with input and output markets.