To augment government’s efforts in pushing agricultural production to a dependable and competitive level, investors in Uganda’s agricultural sector are introducing modern farming techniques to optimize output.
Uganda’s favorable soil conditions and climate have been the pillar upon which agriculture has thrived. The sector for several years formed the backbone of Uganda’s economy, employing up to 70% of the population and contributing approximately 37% of the GDP.
However, several challenges still abound in the sector; low production and productivity; low value addition to agricultural produce and limited market access; weak implementation of agricultural laws and policies; and weak public agricultural institutions.
To cushion these challenges, the government of Uganda is pursuing a private sector led strategy by addressing key constraints that hinder more investment in the agriculture. These efforts are aimed at strengthening the Country’s competitive advantage in agricultural production.
While attending a thanksgiving ceremony for Hon. Richard Todwong, the Nwoya County Member of Parliament, Uganda’s President, Gen. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni took time off to visit Amatheon Agri’s farm.
While at the farm, the President lauded the investors’ efforts at modernizing agriculture stating that the ripple effect of their investment would go a long way in supporting wealth creation in the region.
“The Acholi sub-region has come a long way and I believe will soon overtake places like Kampala in terms of modernization because of commercialized farming,” he said.
The President continued, “In the past, there were only two combined harvesters in the entire region. Today, I see three in this farm alone. This is what we have always advocated for; commercial farming and value addition.”
Having established its Ugandan operations in 2013, Amatheon Agri Limited, the European agribusiness and farming company is currently developing rain fed cropping operations in Nwoya and Kween district in Northern and Eastern Uganda respectively.
In Nwoya, Amatheon Agri is farming in Alero and Purongo sub-counties growing mainly Rice, Maize, sunflower, and soya beans.
Commenting on their operations in Uganda, Mr. Jon Mc Lea, Managing Director at Amatheon Agri said that the company’s long-term objective is the vertical integration of arable land into Uganda’s value chain, which will add to the country’s growing economy.
“We are currently training 900 small holder farmers from whom we intend to buy their products during the next harvest. We are also looking at expanding our out grower catchment area to other parts of the district,” he remarked.