The Economic Policy Research Centre (EPRC) shared the preliminary findings on the study "Fostering a Sustainable Agro-Industrialization Agenda in Uganda" with select Parliamentarians at Golden Tulip Hotel Kampala in May 10, 2018.

WS Agro ind

According to Sarah Ssewanyana, the Executive Director EPRC, the agenda is aimed at transforming Uganda into a modern & industrial country through adding value by processing and increasing exports of higher value products.

She added that the agenda seeks to link agriculture to industry. Ssewanyana said the current production and processing cores are weak and not taking advantage of expanding domestic market opportunities.  This and more are the issues she says government needs to address.

Dr. Swaibu Mbowa who presented the preliminary findings mentioned that there has been support to production through initiatives such as Operation Wealth Creation, which distributes inputs, meat and fruit processing ventures set up in Luwero and Soroti, the agricultural credit facility and government support towards research and development. But these have had limited success.

He said that the key pillars for agro industrialization are institutional coordination, agro processing, production and markets. He however, warned that the export-biased Uganda’s agro industrialization is uncoordinated and follows a generic approach.

Out of the 38 cotton-processing plants, 18 are silent while 21 remain operational making a 20 percent average operating capacity. This and more have contributed to Uganda’s weak processing base.

A framework being proposed by EPRC in implementing agro industrialization seeks to spur value addition by processing and increasing export of higher value products.

According to Mbowa this is much more possible if few commodities are prioritized, and infant agro industries given protection.

 

 

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