Uganda: Community Agricultural Infrastructure Improvement Programme
The Community Agricultural Infrastructure Improvement Programme – Project I (CAIIP-1) resulted from a comprehensive review of Uganda’s agricultural sector, which was carried out in 2005 by the Ugandan government in collaboration with the African Development Bank (AfDB). The review, which was undertaken under the auspices of Uganda's Plan for Modernization of Agriculture, identified a number of investment gaps especially with regard to infrastructure - for access to markets, and for agro-processing, environmental and natural resource management. The project aims to contribute to poverty reduction and economic growth in Uganda through improved commercialization of agriculture. More specifically, the project aims to increase farmers’ access to markets, and attract competitive prices and increased incomes through improvements in rural infrastructures and their management by well-mobilised communities.
CAIIP-1 is co-financed between the African Development Fund (USD 45 million), IFAD (USD 32 Million), and the Ugandan government (USD 6 million). The project covers 26 districts in central and eastern Uganda and supports the rehabilitation of community access roads and district roads to enable highly-productive areas to access markets. The project is also building rural agricultural markets as economic convergence points in these rural areas and is providing primary agro-processing equipment to enable farmers to add value to their produce before going to market.
The project was designed collaboratively between the AfDB, government ministries (agriculture, local government and works), development partners active in the sector, civil society, private sector actors, and local communities. The project will close in December 2013.
The main outputs of the project include the rehabilitation of 3,289 km of all-weather rural community access roads, the rehabilitation of over 538 km of district feeder roads, the establishment of 74 rural agricultural markets, and the installation (now on-going) of 123 units of assorted agro-processing and storage equipment. These include14 coffee hullers, 39 maize mills, 33 rice hullers, and 37 milk coolers.
As a result of these interventions, the project area has witnessed very significant increases in the farm gate prices of staple food crops such as cassava from UGX 8,000 to UGX 20,000 per 100 kilograms, maize from UGX 50 to UGX 1,000 per kilogram, milk from UGX 150 to UGX 600 per litre in season, and bananas (“matooke”) from UGX 4,500 to UGX 10, 000 for an average bunch of about 30 kilograms in season.
The positive changes in agricultural prices are due to the significant improvement in the road network to these high productive areas previously unable to access markets for appropriate agricultural inputs. At the same time, there is increased accessibility to the farms by produce buyers due to a reduction in transportation costs and travel time of more than 50 percent from these rural areas to major towns within the project area.
Further, post-harvest losses have been cut by approximately 20 percent, notably for perishables such as milk, cabbages, tomatoes, pineapples, and water melons. In addition, project interventions have led to the emergence of several rural growth/trade centres, and more permanent houses and new schools and health facilities have emerged in these areas. School enrolments have risen as children no longer have to walk through difficult terrain such as swamps and steep hills.
The project design has been appreciated by government in Uganda, resulting into expanding project activities to the north and western parts of the country as CAIIP-2 and CAIIP-3 respectively. With recent intervention by the government to provide sets of road equipment to each of the participating districts, there is a very high chance that most roads will be properly maintained to ensure that benefits continue to accrue to community members for many years.