Agricultural Sector remains the most important sector in Uganda; it employed approximately 69 percent of the population and contributed about 26 percent to the GDP in 2015-16.
The crucial sector has received a major boost from the United Kingdom (UK) following an injection USD 155 Mn in an attempt aimed increasing the crop production and post-harvest handling.
According to the British High Commissioner Peter West, the partnership will boost farmers’ productivity and post-harvest handling levels to make it possible for them to meet international market standards.
This move has come forth following a deal signed between the Agriculture ministry and two UK firms: Alvan Blanch Development Company and Colas Ltd, seeking to manufacture, supply, and install multiple post-harvest processing systems across the country. Pius Nyokabi, Agriculture permanent secretary signed on behalf of Uganda while Mr Lars Peter Jesensen signed for of Colas Ltd.
While giving his speech during the ceremony, Agriculture minister Vincent Ssempijja notably lauded the collaboration saying it will back up government initiatives to boost private sector investment in Agriculture.
“The objectives of this partnership is to improve values of agricultural produce through the installation of value addition facilities, for example, establishing collection centres for priority commodities by buying and installing 112 batch drying, cleaning and grading systems of grains, cereals across the country,” he said.
He also mentioned that the Ministry of Agriculture is implementing a five-year Agriculture Sector Strategic Plan which leverages on agriculture, among other factors to enable the country to attain middle-income status by 2020.
The minister keenly pointed out that poor quality produce has hindered Ugandan farmers from competing for international markets. “There’s a need to increase grain processing capacity while improving post-harvest handling and management to match the crop production levels in the country, which will increase farmers access to regional and international markets.”
Featured Image Courtesy: CCARDESA