Agriculture and related activities is very crucial for our Country, it remains the biggest employer and source of foreign exchange earnings. In Uganda, more than 69% of the population derives their livelihoods from the agricultural sector.
Generally the farmer profile of Uganda constitutes of 81.5% smallholder farmers, 15% medium size farmers, 3% commercial farmers and 0.5% estate operators. Over 75% of marketed agricultural produce in Uganda is produced by small-scale farmers. The agriculture sector is responsible for about 26% of GDP and is responsible for about half of the country’s exports.
However, several challenges have hindered the sector from nearing its potential in production, productivity and nutrition security in recent years. These include: low adoption of technology, poor disease and pest management, weak extension services, dependency on rain-fed agriculture, poor post-harvest handling techniques, inadequate bulking and storage facilities, limited market information and capacity of the primary producers to meet the standards for export markets, absence of efficient input distribution systems, a weak monitoring and evaluation system and inadequate public investment in the sector averaging 3% over the last decade.
We need a deliberate effort to address these challenges if we are to move from where we are to where we want to be. Many farmers have continued to do the same things and expecting different results. As a people who care about others, and our country’s growth, we need to start engaging in discussions at community level and use this platform to bring out the real issues so that we can together find solutions.