What are the problems and challenges of agriculture in Uganda? Read on to find out the main issues and ways to change the situation.
The Main Problems And Challenges Of Agriculture In Uganda
Today, the agricultural sector in Uganda is the most important in the country, it employs around 70% of the Ugandan Labour force. But the sector suffers because of low output, and because of that, it is getting harder to feed the increasing population. Let’s outline its main problems and challenges:
1. Poor Infrastructure:
The current state of infrastructure in many sectors resulted in a high level of migration among able-bodied youths. Youths don’t want to stay in rural areas because there is poor infrastructure and move to cities. Because of that, the
agriculture in villages loses its workforce which reduces its outputs.
Another example is bad roads, the situation with roads increases the cost and time of transportation. Some goods perish during transportation.
2. Dormant Research Facilities:
Unfortunately, agricultural research institutions in the country don’t work efficiently and effectively. All these
institutions don’t have explicit coordination or direction of work. Most of the research ends up on shelves and doesn’t help to change the current situation. Most farmers, who are considered end-users of this research, can’t put into practice the data from research facilities.
3. Education And Modernization:
The lack of mechanized equipment and the illiteracy of most farmers is the reason why it is hard to implement modern farming methods. Many farmers still stick to archaic farm practices. Most problems of agricultural marketing in Uganda are related to a poor level of education.
4. Unserviceable Machinery:
From time to time government import some tractors but there are no service stations to repair or replace parts for such machinery. If there is some problem with such a tractor, a farmer usually just parks it and comes back to the old way of farming.
5. Food Processing Issues:
20-40% of the harvest is lost annually during the processing. Among the main problems we see is the lack of proper storage facilities, because of that, the harvest is attacked by pests and the storage conditions themselves reduce the quality of the crops.
6. Government policies:
There is a low level of hybrid seedlings importation, and it is still not easy to get fertilizer subsidies. Today we see some
government programs aimed to develop the agriculture sector, but in past years there were no qualitative programs to boost the industry.
7. Lack of Proper Information:
There is an information deficit in Uganda’s agriculture sector but that needs to change if we must make progress. Modernization cannot thrive if farmers are not equipped with the knowledge required to utilize modern tools and ideas.
There is more to farming than just digging the soil and planting crops. Farmers need to know how to select the right seed variety to get optimum yield, the best time for planting, the best on-farm practices to reduce crop loss, and how to partner with the right off-takers to get the best price for their product.
Knowledge of marketing, funding options, or the addition of value to farming practices is also important. Obtaining this information is limited to word of mouth or other traditional means which may not always be accurate or helpful.
The absence of proper information could also lead to unintentional results such as agricultural pollution.
For instance, some of the fertilizers and manure used to enhance plant growth may be made of harmful chemicals. This could lead to the destruction of the environment, thereby harming the plants.
8. Agri-Marketing Challenges:
Marketing involves all the activities involved in the conveyance of agricultural produce to its ultimate users. This can be a challenging process when adequate techniques are not used. Farmers rely on traditional marketing procedures which may not lead to profitable outcomes for them.
The presence of many middlemen in the agricultural business may cause a negative influence on agri-marketing.
In cases where the goods pass through middlemen such as wholesalers, and retailers, the prices paid by the ultimate consumer may also have to pass through these intermediaries before getting to the farmer.
As a result, the farmer may not make much profit as all these intermediaries have to take their cuts. Some of these middlemen also take advantage of farmers who do not understand how the farm market works.
The presence of middlemen in the loan process may also hinder agri-business. A farmer may not have the prerequisite to obtain loans from financial institutions. This arises the need for a direct link between the farmers and their sponsors.
Agri-marketing also suffers due to poor food packaging. Staple food may not be attractive to the ultimate consumer due to poor packaging and this could decline in sales.
Possible Solutions To The Problems Of Agriculture In Uganda:
- Among the first ways to change the situation is by training and raising the level of education. Skilled and educated workers can sustain the durability of mechanized farm tools. Modern agricultural education programs for farmers are a needed tool to change the current situation.
- The mechanization of agriculture: Another step is providing educated farmers with modern farm machines and equipment. Upgrade the Agricultural Research Council to supervise, coordinate, and implement agricultural development.
- Introduction of new government programs to provide incentives for able-bodied youths to be involved in the farming sector.
- There should be a local manufacturer of pesticides, fertilizers, etc.
- There should be a developed system of available loans at reasonable interest rates/
- The government should take measures to curb the importation of food products.
- The irrigation system should be reconstructed to solve the problem of unreliable rainfall.
- In most cases, Ugandan agriculture products are organic because most farmers don’t use any chemicals to boost the harvest. In our modern world, where many countries need more healthy food, it can become an excellent factor to increase the export of agricultural products.
- One more solution is to develop the usage of solar or wind power systems.
- People say that the sector requires strong leadership. Honest patriotic and caring Leadership is one of the main factors to solve all other problems.
Here is our list of current Agribusiness problems (challenges) and possible solutions in Uganda. In recent years we can see that the situation is changing, there are more educated farmers and investments in agriculture.