The Economic Policy Research Centre has published the Agricultural Finance Yearbook 2021, with a revelation that the sector faces up to Shs 65billion gap in financing as a result of structural and operational bottlenecks
The book, the eleventh edition, offers several in-depth analyses that make good for reading to understand the sector’s financing landscape. They also offer policy options to make the sector better.
At the launch of the book at Sheraton hotel in Kampala on April 27, 2022, Dr. Sarah Ssewanyana, the EPRC Executive Director, in a speech read on her behalf by Dr. Ibrahim Kasirye, the Director Research, said the book “stresses that to cope with economic recovery, digitizing financing of the agricultural sector offers plausible options, for agricultural financing to overcome some of the negative effects of the pandemic on access to finance for investment into the sector”
She added that the sector was not adequately protected through policy or legislation. “Uganda lacks a cybersecurity policy and a centralized arrangement for controlling cyber fraud. Outdated laws make it difficult to pin and adequately punish cyber criminals.”
The book is titled Agricultural Finance: Coping with Economic Recovery Amidst Covid-19 Environment.
At the launch of the book, several presentations were done on some of the cases in the book. These were Digitising the coffee value chain in Uganda: A case study of Kyagulanyi; Minimising the risks associated with digitizing agriculture finance in Uganda; the CURAD model for financing start-up business entrepreneurs in Uganda. All these cases are detailed in the book.
The state minister for Finance in Charge of General Duties Hon. Henry Musasizi. Musasizi, who officially launched the book, acknowledge one of the key messages in the book – the agriculture sector faces financing gap of up to the tune of 65billion shillings. “This is due to structural and operational bottlenecks like high loan costs, demand for high value urban based traditional collateral and unavailability of business records.”
“What remains critical is the need to address the aforementioned structural bottlenecks in order to industrialise and commercialise the sector,” the minister said.
He also added that “Government is aware that for innovations to succeed, there is need for a database of all farming households to regulate and bring the services closer to the people. Work is ongoing to develop a Parish-based management information system to support community profiling”.
Agriculture remains one of the most important sectors in the country not just as a source of food but also as the biggest employer. Improvements in sector’s performance means better incomes for households and more food production.
The 2021 book was produced with help from Agricultural Business Initiative (aBi) and Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (MoFPED).
Get your copy of the Agricultural Finance Yearbook 2021 here