Uganda - Country Commercial Guide
Agricultural Sector

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country.  Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2020-08-31

Overview

Investors consider Uganda’s agricultural potential to be among the best in Africa, with low temperature variability, fertile soils, and two rainy seasons over much of the country - leading to multiple crop harvests per year.  According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, Uganda’s fertile agricultural land has the potential to feed 200 million people.  Eighty percent of Uganda’s land is arable but only 35% is being cultivated.  In fiscal year 2018/2019, agriculture accounted for about 22% of GDP, and 34% of export earnings.  The UBOS estimates that about 70% of Uganda’s working population is employed in agriculture.  Uganda produces a wide range of agricutural products including: coffee, tea, sugar, livestock, fish, edible oils, cotton, tobacco, plantains, corn, beans, cassava, sweet potatoes, cassava, millet, sorghum, and groundnuts.  Commercialization of the sector is impeded by farmers’ limited use of fertilizer and quality seeds, and a lack of irrigation infrastructure – rendering production vulnerable to climatic extremes  and pest infestations.  Sector growth is also impaired by the lack of quality packaging capabilities, insufficient storage facilities, poor post-harvest handling practices, shortage of agricultural credit, high freight costs, the lack of all-weather feeder roads in rural areas, a complicated and inefficient land tenure system, and limited knowledge of modern production practices.  Ugandan producers often find it difficult to meet sanitary and phytosanitary standards required to export goods to Europe and the United States.  As of January, there is a significant locust infestation in Kenya, near the Ugandan border.  Since February, the swarms have periodically migrated into Uganda, affecting 24 districts including some of the most food insecure regions - Karamoja and Teso - in Uganda.  The areas of Uganda with most commerical agriculture, however, so far have not been significantly affected.   

Opportunities

There are signficant investment opportunities in Uganda’s agriculture sector, including in production, input supply, value addition processing, standards compliance and export, and post-harvest handling.  In the coffee sector, there is space to increase coffee production and the amount of coffee exported to the United States.  Uganda is Africa’s leading coffee exporter, but sends just 3% of its exports to the United States.  The government has developed an ambitious, yet detailed, plan to increase its current production of 360,000 tons of coffee to 1.2 million tons annually by 2025.

Web Resources

Partnering with USAID

Uganda Investment Authority Upcoming Agriculture Projects

Uganda Coffee Development Authority

Uganda Ministry of Agriculture

National Agricultural Advisory Services