World Bank in a new report on Tuesday said agriculture is Uganda’s “green gold” that has the potential to transform the economy and bring more profits to smallholder farmers.
The bank in its report “Closing the potential performance divide in Ugandan agriculture” said the country can take advantage of the high demand for food by its neighbors. “Booming domestic and regional demand for higher-value foods arising from income growth, urbanization, and dietary shifts offer massive opportunities for Ugandan farmers,” the report said. The bank said for Uganda to maximize its potential and take advantage of the opportunity to become a regional agri-food powerhouse, there are some strategic decisions to be taken. The report identified three priority areas for policy action and investment as commercialization through value-addition and trade, strengthened public institutions and policy and enhanced resilience of agriculture production and rural livelihoods. “A productive and climate-smart agriculture sector requires an effective enabling environment. Providing that the environment is the role of the government,” said Holger Kray, head of the World Bank’s Africa Agriculture Policy Unit and the study leader. “Uganda’s agriculture sector may not be transformed overnight. But making the right adjustments now will be critical to realize the Vision 2040.” Vision 2040 is Uganda’s blue print to development. Agriculture is the backbone of Uganda’s economy, employing 70 percent of the population, and contributing half of the country’s export earnings. The sector also contributes a quarter of the country’s gross domestic product, according to World Bank figures.