The Bank Group approves second phase of Uganda Markets and Agricultural Trade Improvement Program
The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group, during its ordinary sitting on Tuesday December 10, 2014 in Abidjan, approved the second phase of Uganda’s Markets and Agricultural Trade Improvement Program (MATIP 2), aimed to reconstruct an additional 11 of the remaining 14 markets in four regions in the country.
In approving this project which is an extension of MATIP 1, the Bank commits to contribute to re-develop markets in these areas, and to poverty reduction and economic growth in the country, through enhanced commercialization of agricultural produce and other merchandise.
The specific objective of MATIP 2, is to improve marketplace economic and social infrastructure thus inducing incremental production and marketing of agricultural commodities, enhancing the incomes of vendors, reducing post-harvest losses, increasing employment and customer satisfaction.
The primary beneficiaries will be the 16,951 current registered vendors (at least 60% women), whose numbers are expected to rise by the time the project commences after reconstruction of the markets. The indirect beneficiaries are estimated over 900,000 households within the catchment of the markets. Key impacts (tangible and non-tangible benefits) include improved marketing conditions, value addition/processing and trading capacity, increased volumes and sales of agricultural commodities and other merchandise, increased employment and income, leading to improved livelihoods, enhanced quality of produce, choice and availability year-round. The project will foster public-private partnership through a modernized management of the reconstructed markets between Vendor Associations (VAs) and Market Management Committees (MMCs).
It is worth noting that the Government of Uganda considers markets as public goods and strategic components in its quest for poverty reduction and economic growth. As a matter of fact, the reconstructed markets will improve hygiene conditions, reduce post-harvest losses, install facilities to meet demand, for example cold storage units for fish storage, provide increased trade opportunities between rural and urban areas, and serve as wholesaling centres for intra-urban and cross-border trade, especially for agricultural commodities that constitute 50% to 70% of products traded in the target markets. Further, about 80% of women in Uganda are engaged in agriculture production and trading activities.
Explaining the relevance of financing agricultural infrastructure in Uganda, the AfDB’s Agriculture and Agro-industry Department Director, Chiji Ojukwu, said “the Bank is proud to be associated with these investments in Uganda”, underscoring that the MATIP was designed to provide a link between the rural and urban markets in order to expand the commodity value chain. “The markets have greatly contributed to Uganda’s economy and the MATIP has specifically become a flagship programme for the Government and is at the centre of several activities which now include not only commodity exchanges and trade but also banking and other ancillary businesses.
“I use this opportunity to invite Board Members to find time to visit some of these markets to appreciate their contributions to the Uganda’s economy,” Ojukwu said.
The Bank is one of the major Development Partners (DPs) in Uganda, providing about 33.1% of development assistance in the agriculture and rural development sector. The Bank collaborates closely with the other Development Partners, especially the World Bank, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and the European Union (EU) for agricultural-related projects.
In an effort to harmonize Development Partner intervention, the African Development Bank has partnered with the other DPs under the umbrella of the Agricultural Sector Development Partners Group (ASDPG) to undertake development interventions in the choice of sub-sectors and activities where it has a comparative advantage.