Bank Group and SIDA Experts Discuss the Development of Organic Agriculture Programme in Uganda

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Officials of the Bank Group’s field office in Uganda (UGFO) on Thursday in Kampala received a Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) mission that called on the Bank Group’s office to discuss possibilities of developing a programme to support the organic agriculture sub-sector in Uganda. The mission briefed UGFO officials on ongoing SIDA-financed Export Promotion of Organic Products (EPOP) which has supported a number of export projects in Uganda and is contributing institutional development and capacity building support to organic farming. SIDA is building on these experiences to explore possibilities of expanding organic farming activities to more areas, especially to the northern part of the country. If approved, the proposed programme will focus its interventions on organic exporters, organic farmers, and research institutions interested in organic agriculture.

Speaking on the occasion, UGFO ResRep, Mukaila Ojelade, briefed the SIDA mission on Bank Group activities in Uganda’s agriculture and rural development sector. He also briefed the mission on the Bank’s policy frameworks that guide investments in the agriculture sector. The meeting enabled both parties to discuss the effects of the absence of an appropriate government policy framework to support the development of the sector in Uganda. Mr. Ojelade urged the mission to consider providing some support to this process.

Uganda has the most developed certified organic food production sector in Africa where 33,900 farmers manage 122,000 hectares of land using organic methods. The country also has one of the lowest agro-chemical usages in Africa with the majority of farmers practicing de facto organic agriculture without being certified as organic farmers. Major organic export products from Uganda include coffee, cotton, dried bananas, paw paws, pineapples, passion fruits, chillies, ginger and sesame. The SIDA mission included Financial Specialist, Karin Zetterqvist; and Agronomist, Bebeth Tibeijuka.