The DRAFT Uganda National Fertilizer Strategy and Investment Plan (NFS) provides a framework for guiding and promoting enhanced availability and use of fertilizer for higher agricultural productivity in Uganda. The Strategy is constructed on four thematic action areas; namely (i) Creating a conducive fertilizer business environment (ii) Increasing demand and use of fertilizers (iii) Enhancing the supply and distribution of quality fertilizers; and (iv) Effective fertilizer related knowledge management; all of which constitute the fertilizer value chain.

At the moment Uganda uses less than 2 kgs of plant nutrient, per hectare, per year, and the replenishment of the nutrients lost through crop harvests and other factors such as soil erosion has not been to the required level. Consequently, the soil fertility has gone very low and continues to decline, leading to low agricultural production and productivity.

To reverse the trend of low and declining soil fertility, the Government is taking deliberate efforts and strategic actions to support the availability and use of fertilizers, both organic and inorganic, by all categories of farmers. The target is to increase the rate of use of fertilizers to at least 50 kgs of nutrients, per hectare per year, within the five years and eventually reach the recommended average of 200 kg of nutrient per hectare per year. This translates into 250,000 Metric Tons of nutrient for the 5 million hectares of cultivated land within the next five years and eventually 1,000,000 Metric Tons, to achieve the 200 kg of nutrients per hectare.

To this end, the Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF), in collaboration with the Economic Policy Research Centre (EPRC), through a highly consultative process, formulated the following three policy documents to facilitate fertilizer use in Uganda:

  1. The National Fertilizer Policy, approved by the Top Policy Management of MAAIF is due to be presented to Cabinet for review and eventual approval
  2. The National Fertilizer Control Regulations have also been approved by Top Policy Management of MAAIF and are due to be presented to Cabinet for review and eventual approval
  3. The Draft National Fertilizer Strategy which provides a framework for enhanced availability and use of fertilizers in Uganda is to be validated through public dialogue on 14th November, 2013.

While in the short and medium term importation of fertilizers should be supported, the ultimate goal is to exploit the local deposits to manufacture fertilizers and other soil amendments to improve the health of soils. Such deposits include vermiculite, lime, volcanic ash and phosphates and manures.

The Government?s efforts to enhance the use of fertilizers specifically seeks to formalize fertilizer trade, create awareness of fertilizer use, establish a private sector-driven fertilizer market system, promote optimal use of both organic and inorganic fertilizer, support domestic fertilizer production and establish regulatory and monitoring systems for fertilizer products and by-products.

All stakeholders are invited to the National Fertilizer Strategy Validation Workshop taking place on Thursday 14th November, 2013 at Imperial Royale Hotel to make input into the Strategy before it is submitted for consideration by the technical and top policy management of MAAIF.

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