Uganda Community Agricultural Infrastructure Improvement Programme

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Key Facts:

Focus: Food security and Infrastructure
Location: 26 districts in Eastern and Central Uganda
Amount: US$ 83.3 million, AfDB: US$ 45 million, IFAD US$ 32 million; Government of Uganda US$ 6.3 million
Duration and dates: 5 years (September 2007 to June 2013)
Number of People Affected: approx. 2.59 million people benefiting from the project.

Problem: rural communities excluded from the market

Transport constraints in many rural communities in Eastern and Central Uganda made it extremely difficult for farmers to market their produce. This limited farmers’ productivity, and burdened traders in rural areas with high transaction costs. As a result farmers received lower prices for their produce, lacked reliable information on market prices, and were largely unaware of potentially profitable market opportunities.

Project Activity

The project rehabilitated rural roads, constructed markets, and installed agro-processing equipment. The key outputs of the project are:

  • The rehabilitation of 3,089 km of all-weather rural roads
  • The rehabilitation of over 200 rural roads
  • The construction of 52 rural markets
  • The installment of 53 units of assorted agro-processing equipment (14 coffee hullers and 39 maize mills); the planning of an additional 70 facilities (33 rice hullers and 37 milk coolers)

Community-led Approach

The project took an innovative community and participatory approach. It raised awareness in local communities and mobilized residents to participate in taking inventory, setting priorities, and selecting projects to build or improve agricultural infrastructure and maintain it after completion.

Impact and Benefit

The project sought to deal with the low prices farmers in the target communities were receiving for their produce due to difficulties in getting produce to market and high transaction costs. The programme brought the following immediate benefits:

  • It has halved the cost to transport produce to major towns and halved the journey time.
  • It has reduced post-harvest losses by approximately 20%, especially for perishables such as cabbage, tomatoes, pineapples, and watermelons.

The following farm gate price increases of staple products demonstrate the success of the programme:

  • cassava from 8,000 Ugandan shillings (USh)* to USh 20,000 per 100 kilograms,
  • maize from USh 50 to USh 1,000 per kilogram,
  • milk from USh 150 to USh 600 per litre in season, and
  • bananas (“matooke”) from USh 4,500 to USh 10,000 for an average bunch of about 30 kilograms in season.

Other benefits include

  • The emergence of rural growth centers and more permanent housing;
  • New schools and health facilities;
  • Higher school enrolment, as children no longer have to walk through difficult terrain such as swamps and steep hills;
  • Better health, inter alia because of more numerous antenatal visits to health centers by expectant mothers.

*100 Ugandan shillings is about 4 US cents