Uganda’s population currently stands at about 40 million and agriculture, the main source of livelihood is facing tremendous challenges top among include; droughts, poor farmers’ attitudes in adopting modern farming, low mechanization, poor agro inputs, corruption and inefficient extension services.

After the government announced and passed the 2016/2017 national budget the agriculture sector received an enormous Shs. 489 billion increment. However, the resulting excitement is being jostled with questions as to whether there will be increased production and productivity.
At the 5th National Agricultural And Food Security Forum held on 21st June 2016 in Kampala under the theme “Leveraging on Increased National Budget Allocation to Agriculture Sector to Enhance Production and Productivity”, experts warned of the vicious cycle of limited agricultural transformation.
Dr. Francis Mwesigye, a Research Fellow with Economic Policy Research Centre (EPRC) cited need for crop intensification to support agriculture. “Farmers should use fertilizers, mechanization and soil conservation, (so as to meet the food demands for the rising population)” Mwesigye advised.
Counterfeit fertilizers and seeds, inadequate protection of cops against weeds and destructive diseases, low adoption of irrigation, communication gaps amongst ministries, farmers and the private sector, fettered access to finances, land tenure insecurity, and untimely delivery of services are further challenges which have persistently hindered agricultural enhancement in Uganda.
Dr. Swaibu Mbowa, a Senior Research Fellow at EPRC opined that the 5 priority development areas being operationalized in line with Vision 2040 for agriculture have no clear targets. This could hinder the attainment of Sustainable Development Goal 2, which aims at ending hunger, achieving food security & promoting sustainable agriculture.
The fact that Uganda has never allocated 10% of the National Budget on agriculture as prescribed by the Maputo declaration means there is still more to do in terms of advocating for better agriculture budget.
Only 25% of farmers use fertilizer, 85% plant local seed, only 6.50% combine fertilizers and improved seed and 1% practice irrigation.
The Assistant Coordinator, Operation Wealth Creation, Major General Julius Oketta revealed that a United Kingdom firm has been contracted to supply 200,000 metric tons of fertilizer. He added that Dr Okassai Opolot, the Director Crop Resources, Ministry of Agriculture has been appointed to ensure fertilizer supply to farmers in the second planting season of September to October 2016.
The move has come in line with the passing of the national fertilizer policy that seeks to increase farmers’ usage of fertilizer from 1kg per hectare to 50kgs per hectare annually as in accordance with the Abuja declaration.
The fisheries sector too had a mention during the forum as suggestions to increase fish production and exports surfaced. “A fish cage that costs Shs. 2million could give the same amount as a pond established using Shs.6m hence making it a clear innovation that needs improvement and reinforcement,” Tonny Odokonyero, a research analyst with EPRC alluded. The fisheries industry contributes 3% to GDP and 6%to total exports as stocks over the years reduced due to too much pressure on Lakes.
Ensuring sustainable food production systems and implementing resilient agricultural practices that increase productivity and production by 2030 is tenable if policy makers and implementers walk the talk.

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