Agriculture is the backbone of the Ugandan economy, contributing over 23% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and employing over 60% of the population. Here is an overview of everything about agriculture in Uganda:
Crops: The major crops grown in Uganda include:
- Coffee: Uganda is the second-largest coffee producer in Africa, after Ethiopia. Coffee is grown in many parts of the country, with the major growing regions being the central, western, and eastern regions.
- Maize: Maize is a staple food in Uganda and is grown in many parts of the country. The crop is mainly grown for home consumption, but surplus production is sold for income.
- Bananas: Bananas are a major staple food in Uganda, and the country is the second-largest producer of bananas in the world. The crop is grown in many parts of the country, with the major growing regions being the central and western regions.
- Beans: Beans are an important source of protein in Uganda and are grown in many parts of the country. The major growing regions are the central, eastern, and western regions.
- Sugarcane: Sugarcane is increasing becoming a major cash crop in the Busoga region. This is the main cash generating crop that some locals say is one of the main causes of famine in the region whereby, some people have slashed their banana and maize plantations and opted to grow the sugarcane. Some have gone to the extent of cutting the forests in Uganda so as to plant the sugarcane.
- Cassava: Cassava is a staple food in Uganda, and the country is the second-largest producer of cassava in Africa. The crop is grown in many parts of the country, with the major growing regions being the eastern and northern regions.
Livestock: Livestock rearing is an important aspect of agriculture in Uganda. The major types of livestock reared in the country include:
- Cattle: Cattle are the most important livestock in Uganda, providing milk, meat, and hides. They are reared in many parts of the country, with the major rearing regions being the central, western, and eastern regions.
- Goats: Goats are also an important source of meat and milk in Uganda. They are reared in many parts of the country, with the major rearing regions being the central, western, and eastern regions.
- Pigs: Pigs are mainly reared for meat in Uganda. They are reared in many parts of the country, with the major rearing regions being the central and eastern regions.
- Poultry: Poultry rearing is also an important aspect of livestock production in Uganda. The major types of poultry reared in the country include chicken, ducks, and turkeys.
Challenges facing agriculture in Uganda:
- Climate change: Climate change is affecting agriculture in Uganda, with changing rainfall patterns and prolonged droughts affecting crop yields and livestock production.
- Limited access to credit: Farmers in Uganda face challenges in accessing credit to finance their agricultural activities, which limits their ability to expand their production and adopt new technologies.
- Pests and diseases: Pests and diseases are a major challenge to agricultural production in Uganda, with some of the major pests and diseases affecting crops and livestock being Fall Army-worm, Banana Bacterial Wilt, and Foot and Mouth Disease.
- Limited access to markets: Farmers in Uganda face challenges in accessing markets for their produce, which limits their ability to sell their produce at fair prices and earn income.
Government efforts to address the challenges: The government of Uganda has taken several measures to address the challenges facing the agricultural sector, including:
- Establishment of a legal and regulatory framework: The government has established laws and regulations to guide agricultural production and marketing, including the National Agricultural Advisory Services Act and the Agricultural Credit Facility Act.
- Promotion of irrigation: The government is promoting the use of irrigation to reduce the impact of climate change on agriculture and increase crop yields.
- Disease and pest control: The government is implementing measures to control pests and diseases affecting crops and livestock, including the establishment of quarantine and disease control measures.