Uganda’s agriculture sector has been allocated more than USD 400 million for 2021-2022 to help increase production and productivity.
The funds will be used for developing the sector including the construction of processing facilities to improve postharvest handling and storage and increasing market access and competitiveness of agricultural products on the domestic and export markets.
The plan targets improvement in the production of selected agricultural products like maize, cassava, bananas, rice, tea, coffee, cotton, milk, fish, and beef.
Read the full story at Dispatch
More on the rice sector in Africa
Uganda: blazing a trail to rice success
Uganda—widely known as “the pearl of Africa” for its exquisite natural beauty, diverse flora and fauna, and a rich mosaic of cultures— is attracting attention today as a potential rice basket for eastern Africa. Over the last few years, Uganda has been experiencing a remarkable rice boom supported by good farming practices, premium market prices, and favorable policies that have stimulated large private investment in the rice sector.
Uganda’s rice revolution
Compared with other West African countries, such as Mali and Senegal, which have been growing rice for centuries, Uganda is just “a new kid on the block.” Yet, in 2008, when the government of Mali was desperately trying to procure for its farmers large quantities of seeds of the New Rice for Africa (NERICA®) varieties developed by the Africa Rice Center, it was Uganda that offered to supply Mali. Not bad for a country where, only 15 years ago, rice was considered a special dish for Christmas.
The hybrid alternative for Africa
Most African countries are still far from self-sufficient in meeting their rice demand. In 2013, Africa imported 14 million tons of milled rice at a cost of USD 7.5 billion. The continent, therefore, needs to urgently improve rice productivity to reduce its heavy dependence on imports. As a result of heterosis (hybrid vigor), hybrid rice shows a yield advantage of 15‒20% over the best inbred variety grown under the same conditions. It can provide an avenue for African rice farmers to raise their rice yields and profitability.