The Partnership for Economic Policy (PEP), an international research organization seeking to enhance capacity for development policy analysis in developing countries has called for agriculture intensification to increase Uganda’s household wellbeing.
Manuel Paradis, the STAARS Coordinator for PEP said that a 1% increase in agricultural growth could reduce the number of people living on less than 1 US Dollar per day by between 0.6% and 2%.
The reiteration call was sounded during an agricultural workshop organized in partnership with the Economic Policy Research Centre at Sheraton Hotel Kampala on 9th February 2017.
Paradis also noted that in Sub Saharan Africa, agricultural productivity remains low with no sustainable intensification although the sector contributes to 34% of the GDP and employs 64% of the labor force.
In his presentation, Paradis pointed out that the adoption of a single farm technology, fertilizer and improved seed use, better soil and water management practices were vital in accelerating productivity and promoting sustainable intensification.
However, Professor Julius Kiiza, a Makerere University Political Science Lecturer said that sustainable technology adoption for instance was far from reach. He cited the tractor hire service, which collapsed.
Kiiza added that improved seeds usage remains less than 5% and that most Ugandan successful farmers derive income from politics and are aligned to patronage directly or indirectly.
In the same line, Dr. Francis Mwesigye a Research fellow with EPRC expressed worry about the quality of agro inputs in Uganda. “Uganda’s inputs market is flooded with counterfeit products. 60% of agro input dealers are not registered, not taxed and do not adhere to quality standards,” he said.
Dr Bethuel Kinyanjui, a STAARS Fellow, in his presentation, titled the impact of Technological adoption on farmer welfare in Uganda and Tanzania, highlighted that farmers association; access to media and credit among others would promote adoption of improved seeds and enhance household welfare.
Until present, the Agriculture sector in Uganda and in other Sub Saharan African countries faces credit constraints, poor access to information, weak institutional linkages and poor infrastructure.