Agriculture Sector Strategic Plan (ASSP)

Performance of the Agricultural sector

Rationale and strategic direction of ASSP

The priority agricultural commodities

What is the ASSP?

The Agriculture Sector Strategic Plan (ASSP) is the flagship plan for investment and development of the agricultural sector, in line with the National Development Plan to be implemented through a multi-sector wide approach involving the Government of Uganda, Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government, District Local Governments, Development Partners, Civil Society Organisations and the private sector.

This Strategic Plan is for the period from Financial Year 2015/16 to Financial Year 2019/20.

How was the ASSP Developed?

This Strategic Plan was developed following a comprehensive review of the Agriculture Sector Development Strategy and Investment Plan (DSIP) for the period 2010/11 to 2014/15 that was conducted in 2015. The review identified some implementation challenges, lessons learnt, opportunities, emerging issues and generated key recommendations to guide future action. The ASSP also takes into account the development priorities in the National Development Plan (NDP) II and is structured in six chapters as follows: the background to the agriculture sector; situational analysis; the strategic interventions of the sector during the plan period; institutional arrangements for implementation of the ASSP; the financing strategy; and monitoring and evaluation (M&E) arrangements.

Performance of the Agricultural Sector before the ASSP

During the DSIP period, the agricultural sector average annual growth rate was 2.2%. The growth in agricultural sector declined from 2.6% in 2010 to -0.2% in 2012, before recovering to 3.6% in 2013 and 2.9% in 2014. It was lower than the average annual GDP growth rate of 5.2% and the average annual population growth rate of 3% over the same period. The contribution of the agricultural sector to GDP declined from 25.4% in 2010 to 23% in 2014. Of the agricultural sub-sectors GDP, the average contribution for the different sub-sectors was 1.7% of GDP for cash crops, 12.7% of GDP for food crops, 4.2% of GDP for livestock, 0.03% of GDP for Agriculture Support Services, 4.0% of GDP for Forestry and 1.2% of GDP for fisheries.

The DSIP was hinged on four guiding programmes including

  • Production and productivity
  • Markets and value addition achievements
  • Enabling environment achievements
  • Lessons learnt and opportunities from the DSIP review

The Agricultural sector in figures

In 2010, GDP contribution from Agriculture
Contribution to GDP from 2010 to 2014
a decline of about 2.4% since 2010
average GDP contribution from food crops is about

What is the rationale for development of the ASSP?

Agriculture is the backbone of Uganda’s economy and will be critical to the achievement of the National Development Plan II goal of propelling the country towards middle-income status with a per capita income of US$1,033 by 2020. The sector is expected to contribute to wealth creation and employment through implementation of actions for the value chain development of twelve priority and four strategic commodities. The ASSP describes the priorities, strategies and interventions required to achieve these results.

What is the strategic direction of the agricultural sector in Uganda?

Sector investment over the medium term will be channeled to the specified priority and strategic commodities across their entire value chains focusing on: research; extension; pest, vector and disease control; provision of inputs; promoting sustainable land use and soil management; post-harvest handling; improving markets access and value addition. The investment strategy will target to achieve four objectives namely:

  1. Increasing agricultural production and productivity;
  2. Increasing access to critical farm inputs;
  3. Improving agricultural markets and value addition; and
  4. Improving service delivery through strengthening the institutional capacity of MAAIF and its agencies.

Agricultural extension

The sector will carry out the following activities to strengthen extension services in the country: filling vacant staff positions in MAAIF and DLGs – district and sub county levels; farmer group formation into co-operatives, associations and federations, with support from the Uganda National Farmers Federation (UNFFE); carrying out farmer training needs assessment in the areas of agricultural production, business, agro-processing, post-harvest handling, value chain upgrading and nutrition; conducting residential and non-residential farmer training to address identified needs; profiling farmers according to farm sizes and enterprises; development of a curriculum for a professional certificate course in extension skills for extension service providers; initiatives to increase youth participation in agriculture; development and implementation of the extension policy and other statutory instruments; developing Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects such as investments in silos, warehousing, storage and bulking centres; operationalisation of the commercialisation challenge fund; establishment of demonstration and incubation centres; and implementing the sector communication strategy. The total amount of funds required to achieve these interventions are UGX887.99 billion.

Agricultural research

To accelerate production and productivity at national and household level, the ASSP will focus on generating and up scaling the use of sound agricultural research and climate change resilient technologies across the priority and strategic commodities. The function of the National Agricultural Research System will be strengthened through identification and building of key human resource capacity; a policy and regulatory framework for biotechnology will be developed and implemented; and technologies and protocols for value addition will be developed and promoted. The total amount of funds required to achieve these interventions are UGX327.65 billion.

Water for agricultural production

Farmers have continued to grapple under the effects of climate change due to over reliance on rain-fed agricultural though there is great potential to harness the available water in order to increase agricultural production and productivity. The following activities will be undertaken to increase water for agricultural production: purchase of five sets of additional equipment to increase water coverage; recruitment and training of operators; assessment of designs and construction of 250 valley tanks and valley dams; review guidelines and create awareness on the use of equipment; construction and rehabilitation of irrigation schemes; and training of farmers through irrigation and water harvesting demonstrations sites. The total funds required to implement these interventions are UGX 387.85 billion.

Agricultural mechanisation

The level of agricultural mechanisation in the country is still minimal, compared to other sub-Saharan African countries. The following activities will be undertaken to redress this imbalance: develop incentive schemes for acquisition and maintenance of mechanisation equipment; purchase of 450 tractors; rehabilitation and refurbishment of the Namalere Agricultural Mechanisation Resource Centre; building capacity for technical training operators, mechanics, technicians and farmers; collaboration with the National Bureau of Standards to eliminate importation and trade of substandard agricultural mechanisation equipment; and completion of the national agricultural mechanisation policy and implementation framework. The total amount of funds required to achieve these interventions are UGX159.84 billion.

Administrative infrastructure development

MAAIF is currently located in Entebbe, whereas its partner MDAs and other sector stakeholders are situated in Kampala. This strategy will focus on constructing new MAAIF headquarters in Kampala, to increase sector efficiency through improving linkages between MAAIF and its partner MDAs located in Kampala. It will also involve the construction of administrative infrastructure for a selected number of district production offices with inadequate and poor office buildings. The total amount of funds required to achieve these interventions are UGX100.70 billion.

Human resource development, training and capacity building

This intervention will focus on addressing the current shortage of personnel in MAAIF by developing and implementing an integrated and phased recruitment process. It will also involve: developing a comprehensive sector capacity building programme that will capture not only the knowledge and skills gaps but also career development needs; identifying the institutions in the sector with the most urgent capacity building needs; identifying partners (service providers) to assist with the capacity building; and implementing the capacity building plans including periodic reviews of achievement. The total amount of funds required to implement these interventions are UGX11 billion.

Agriculture sector training institutes and centres

This intervention aims at transforming Bukalasa Agricultural College (BAC), Fisheries Training Institute (FTI), the National Farmers Leadership Centre (NFLC) and District Agricultural Training and Information Centres (DATICs), into institutions that are responsive to knowledge and skill needs of the market in extension services. This will be attained through curriculum review, human resources strengthening and infrastructural rehabilitation/ development. In the case of the NFLC, it is further planned to acquire additional land for farming operations as well as put in place a reviewed legal regime to replace the Memorandum of Understanding that the centre is currently operating under. The total amount of funds required to achieve these interventions are UGX43.56 billion.

Agriculture sector policy and planning

This intervention aims at providing support to sector policy and planning in the implementation of the ASSP. It will focus on producing bankable project proposals to support ASSP implementation; undertaking budget execution assessment exercises; linking ASSP implementation with regional agriculture policy undertakings (in the EAC, COMESA, CAADP, etc.); and coordinating the production of agriculture sector mandatory policy/planning/budget papers. The total amount of funds required to achieve these interventions are UGX14.5 billion.

Agricultural statistics, ICT and risk management

The Agriculture sector is characterized by a weak agricultural statistical system. The objective of this intervention is to establish an efficient National Food and Agricultural Statistics (NFAS) system to provide data that will underpin major government policy programmes. In addition, farm risk management will be improved through: establishing awareness of the holistic approach of Agriculture Risk Management (ARM) across all thematic areas; developing a national coordination mechanism for ARM to advise relevant MDAs; identifying and prioritising agricultural risks through a participatory approach involving local, national, and international stakeholders; developing, analysing and implementing innovative and integrated tools to manage the identified agriculture risks; prioritising ARM processes and tools and integrating them into the strategic investment plans; increasing investments and initiatives on ARM led by the GoU and partners at national and regional level; identifying and mainstreaming ARM data and its timely collection, analysis, management and integration within the agricultural statistics system. The total funds required for these interventions are UGX19.43 billion.

Agricultural monitoring and evaluation systems

Agricultural Sector MDAs will strengthen agricultural Sector M&E systems through the production of quality monitoring and evaluation data and information on ASSP implementation and through strengthening institutional and organisational capacity for M&E development and dissemination of standardized tools, guidelines and formats for collation and reporting by key stakeholders involved in M&E of ASSP implementation. Support will also be provided for revamping routine monitoring, support supervision and data quality audits within MDAs and LGs. A joint annual sector review will be held bringing together development partners, private sector, CSOs and other MDAs. The total amount of funds required for these interventions are UGX16.92 billion.

Cross-cutting issues

The Agricultural sector has identified five cross cutting issues in the population that impact on its performance and these. These are: gender, youth, environment and climate change, HIV/AIDS as well as food and nutrition security. During the plan period, it is intended to ensure that these issues are adequately mainstreamed in all activities implemented in the sector. The total funds required for these interventions are UGX11 billion.

What are the Priority Commodities?

The interventions highlighted in the ASSP will mainly be focused on 12 priority commodities, namely: bananas, beans, maize, rice, cassava, tea, coffee, fruits and vegetables, dairy, fish, livestock (meat), and four strategic commodities, namely, cocoa, cotton, oil seeds, and oil palm. The interventions to be implemented for each of these commodities are summarised below.


Banana production in 2014 amounted to 4.6 million mt, of which 3,070 mt were exported. Banana exports generated US$587,000 for the country in 2014. The sector targets to produce 13 million mt by 2020. To achieve these targets, the sector intends to increase production and productivity of bananas through: control of pests and diseases especially the Banana Bacterial Wilt (BBW) disease; generation and distribution of clean planting materials to farmers for example tissue culture; promoting the use of organic and inorganic fertilisers and soil moisture conservation techniques; strengthening extension services and training in good agricultural practices (GAPs); and support to value addition through PPPs. The funds required to implement these interventions are UGX109.2 billion.


Beans production in 2014 amounted to 1,011 million mt, of which 31,796 mt were exported. This generated US$26.19 million for the country. The sector targets to produce 10 million mt by 2020. Annual exports are projected to increase to US$63 million. In order to achieve the above targets, the sector intends to increase production and productivity of beans through: increasing access to high quality seed inputs like Rhizobia; support to pest & disease control; strengthening mechanisation and extension services. The total funds required to implement these interventions are UGX171.05 billion.


Maize production in 2014 amounted to 2.9 million mt, of which 134,903 mt were exported. This generated US$43.567 million for the country. The sector targets to annually produce 10 million mt by 2020. Exports are projected to increase to US$105 million annually. To achieve these targets, the sector intends to increase production and productivity of maize through: producing and distributing 60 mt of improved maize seed; multiplication and distribution of foundation seed, improving access and use of fertilisers; increasing pest and disease control measures; promoting mechanisation; improving extension services; supporting post-harvest handling through training traders and farmers on quality standards and post-harvest handling technologies; supporting processing and value addition including household cottage industries; The total funds required to achieve these interventions is UGX381,83 billion.


Rice production in 2014 amounted to 237,000 mt, of which 57,053 mt were exported. This generated US$2.7 million for the country. The sector targets to produce 680,000 mt by 2020 and generate at least US$73 million worth of exports. This will be achieved through: multiplication and distribution of improved foundation seed; mechanisation of rice production; investment in irrigation infrastructure starting with Eastern Uganda; and provision of extension services. In order to reduce post-harvest losses in rice, the sector intends to promote and distribute appropriate post-harvest technologies, increase access to credit by rice farmers, traders and processors and promote marketing of rice by promotion of collective marketing for high quality rice. The funds required to implement these interventions are UGX49.84 billion.


Cassava production in 2014 amounted to 2.8million mt. The sector targets to increase production of Cassava to 3.5 million mt by 2020. Cassava is also a strong agent for import substitution and is targeted to contribute about US$30 million per year in import-substitution during the plan period. The following interventions will be undertaken: establish production and distribution of clean planting material resistant to crop pests and diseases; develop monitoring and diagnosis systems for pest and diseases; provide established support for marketing and establishment of adequate storage utilities for fresh cassava roots; support cassava farmers and SMEs to engage in processing of quality flour and chips, as well as agribusiness enterprises. The total funds required to achieve these interventions are UGX135,12 billion.

Irish Potatoes

The demand for Irish potatoes is estimated to be over 850,000 mt per annum with urban demand outpacing rural demand. With the increasing urbanization, changing eating habits by the majority youth and high population growth, chips consumption is set to rise by 50% over the plan period offering the potato industry huge opportunities for enterprise development and economic growth. The Irish potatoes development interventions aims at: i) supporting production and distribution of seed potato of improved varieties with preferred end user characteristics; ii) supporting production and marketing of ware potato for rural and urban consumption; iii) supporting farmers and Small and medium enterprises to engage in organized production, marketing and processing of potato; and iv) providing an enabling policy framework for a competitive and profitable commercial potato industry.


Tea production in 2014 amounted to 61,376 mt, of which 60,504 mt were exported. This generated US$84.7 million for the country. The sector targets to produce 112,000 mt by 2020, with exports valued at approximately US$155 million. The following actions and activities will be pursued to increase tea production: formulation of a tea policy favourable to investors and other actors in the industry; mobilisation of small holder tea growers into independent legal farmer groups/associations with a critical mass of shareholders owning processing facilities through Government loan guarantees; increased funding for tea research; providing extension services for tea; production and distribution of 34,965 million quality tea plantlets per annum; and building tea factories (at least 25 single line in Kisoro, Kabale, Kanungu, Zombo and Mityana) with a capacity to produce 800,000-1,000,000 mt of tea per annum. These interventions will be carried out with the support of the Uganda Tea Association and Uganda National Farmers Federation. The total amount of funds required to achieve these interventions is UGX532.42 billion.


Coffee is the principal export for Uganda and production in 2014 amounted to 211,872 mt, of which 206,831 mt were exported. This generated US$410.06 million for the country. The sector targets to produce 595,890 mt valued at approximately US$1,153 billion by 2020. Activities to boost the coffee sub sector will include: promoting improved varieties (seven elite varieties resistant to wilt) through increased financing to coffee research; support for the production and distribution of 100 million coffee seedlings per annum in order to expand area under production by 5% in traditional areas and 25% in new areas; carrying out demonstrations and training farmers on good agricultural practices; controlling pests and diseases in coffee; promoting fertiliser use through support to demonstrations and training farmers on soil and water conservation; promoting and supporting value addition and marketing of coffee; providing technical extension, demonstrations, enforcement of compliance with coffee regulations: improving standards and capacity through PPPs and supporting production and certification schemes for sustainable fine and specialty coffee; and supporting acquisition and use of mechanisation and irrigation technologies through PPPs. The total amount of funds required to achieve these interventions is UGX402.87 billion.

Fruits and vegetables

Planned interventions to boost production and exports of fruits and vegetables will include: provision of quality seedlings; improving grading standards, packaging and handling of fruits and vegetables; registration of exporters; support to quality assurance; plant quarantine restrictions; pests and disease control; and support to processing of fresh fruits through PPP arrangements. The funds required to achieve these interventions are UGX417.18 billion.


Total milk production amounted to 1.55 billion litres in 2014. Exports from milk and its products earned Uganda US$28,684 million in 2014. Thirty three per cent (33%) of the marketed milk in Uganda is processed whereas sixty seven per cent (67%) is marketed raw. The processing capacity of milk was 1,304 million litres in 2014.The sector targets to produce 3.35 billion litres annually by 2020, and targets annual exports from milk and related products worth approximately US$92 million. To achieve these targets, the following interventions are planned: implementation of the Presidential directive to provide one heifer per household; support to dairy extension services; establishment of a dairy herd information system; support to increased dairy regulation and inspection; establishment of mobile and regional laboratories; building capacity in conserved feed production, marketing, on-farm water harvesting infrastructure and pasture and rangeland improvement in the national milk sheds establishment; and increased efforts to improve dairy market access and value addition. The total value of funds required to achieve these interventions is UGX199.72 billion.


Total fish production in 2014 amounted to 461,726 mt, of which 17,597 mt were exported. This generated US$134,791 million for the country in 2014. The sector targets to increase annual fish production to 674,028 mt by 2020.

Earnings from annual fish exports are projected to increase to US$ 238.80 million. In order to achieve the set targets, the following activities will be undertaken: increased support to aquaculture through construction of fish ponds; support to restocking of major water bodies; undertaking research in area fish breeding and production technologies for fast growing and early maturing fish species; control of water weeds; increased regulation, inspection and certification; increased value addition to fisheries. The total funds required to implement these interventions are UGX 292.95 billion.

Meat and other livestock products

The sector has set the following production targets for 2020 for the main livestock products: beef production, 360,000 (valued at US$ 1.636 billion); pork, 139,185 mt (valued at US$421 million); mutton and goat meat, 39,775 mt (valued at US$421 million); poultry, 63,647. There are also plans to increase production of honey and silk to increase exports of hides and skins.

In order to achieve the targets, the following activities will be undertaken: control of vectors and diseases through vaccinations, disease surveillance and construction of infrastructure for disease control; pasture development; provision of adequate water for livestock production through the construction of valley dams; provision of high genetic materials; promotion of labour saving technologies; creating a buffer stock/animal handling grounds to support beef processing.

The total funds required to achieve these interventions are UGX793.82 billion.


Production and export earnings from of cocoa have steadily increased from 16,478 mt worth US$35,1 million in 2010 to 25,720 mt worth US$59,4 million in 2014. Increased production and productivity will be enhanced through strengthening cocoa research and technology development, improving cocoa extension services delivery, provision of cocoa seedlings, and increased marketing and value addition. The total amount of funds required to achieve these interventions are UGX40.48 billion.


Cotton lint production in 2014/15 amounted to 17,275 mt, of which 12,674 mt were exported. This generated US$21,918million for the country. The sector targets to produce 64,750 mt by 2020. In order to achieve these targets, the following activities need to be undertaken: completion of the seed processing plant in Pader district; provision of cotton inputs to farmers; support to value addition through implementation of the revolving lint buffer stock fund to ensure all year round supply of lint; strengthening cotton research; strengthening cotton farmers support programmes through extension and training in good agronomic practices; support to mechanisation in cotton. The total amount of funds required to implement these interventions are UGX95.82 billion.

Oil seeds

Oil seeds production in 2014 was 758,500 mt and this is projected to more than double to 2,027million mt by 2020. Exports from vegetable oils are projected to increase from US$ 102million registered in 2014 to US$281 million by 2020.

Increased production and productivity of oilseeds is aimed at increasing household food and nutrition security and income and the specific interventions to be undertaken will include: improved distribution and access to improved quality seed, fertilisers and mechanisation; strengthening and increasing access to extension services by oil seed farmers; building and strengthening farmer organisations to sustainably provide services to their members, and strengthening the oilseeds sub-sector platform to oversee and coordinate relevant policies in the oilseeds sub-sector.

Oil palm

Nucleus estates currently dominate production of oil palm, however there is significant potential for improvement of house hold incomes by integrating smallholders into the schemes. This will require capacity building of farmers’ groups in order to facilitate knowledge building, skills transfer, input distribution and bulking of produce. Investments to promote better productivity and production improvement will include identifying additional land for both nucleus estate and integration of smallholders targeting large-scale production in Buvuma and potential new districts (Masaka, Kalungu, Lwengo, Mukono, Buikwe, Mayuge, West Nile region and Middle North region). The existing Vegetable Oil Development Project (VODP) is also in the process of identifying suitable land for additional trials.