The Minister gives an overview of investment opportunities in the Agriculture and Horticulture sector.
The economic output is dominated by agriculture, which was responsible for 44% of GDP in 1996/97. Manufacturing contributed 8.6% of GDP in 1996/97. Most manufacturing is based on the processing of agricultural products. Agriculture employs over 80% of the labour force and also accounts for over 90% of export earnings.
Uganda forms part of the East Africa plateau. Favourable conditions for the cultivation of food and cash crops are found in most areas. Continuous cultivation is carried out where the rainfall is reliable and two to three crops per year are attainable. More than 75% of the land is available for cultivation or pasture. However, large areas are under-utilized. Land tenure systems are a mixture of traditional practices, colonial regulations and post-colonial legislation and vary from region to region. The co-operative network has played an important role in assisting farmers in the past two decades.
Agricultural production comes almost exclusively from 2.2 million smallholders, mostly working 2 to 3 hectares of land, using traditional methods of cultivation and family labour. Products include food crops (such as plantains, cassava, sweet potatoes, millet, sorghum, maize, beans, groundnuts and sesame), livestock and export crops (coffee, cotton, tea and tobacco). Some high value crops (e.g. cut flowers and certain vegetables and fruits, are also being exported. Agricultural products to a value of US$491.1 million were exported during 1996. Uganda is normally self-sufficient in food production. Crop marketing is handled by co-operatives, marketing boards and private companies.
Agriculture is the backbone of this nation, employing 70% of the total population. Suffice to say, this country is well placed to become the regional food basket, located in the centre of the 130 million people EAC regional bloc and 400 million people in the COMESA region. This can materialize if we partner with entrepreneurs from the GCC countries to add value to our produce, increase production and employ well-planned marketing strategies. In so doing, we can also provide foodstuffs of the highest quality to the Gulf region. This country therefore, presents a plethora of opportunities for investors and a huge potential for exports worldwide, where we have preferential market access.
For information about investing in Uganda:
The Investment Centre,
Plot 22B Lumumba Avenue , TWED Plaza P.O. Box 7418 Kampala, Uganda