Agriculture is the predominant economic activity in rural areas which harbour about 76 percent of Uganda’s population. The sector employs about 70 percent of the working population and provides the first job for three-quarters of those aged between 15 and 24 years. The NDP III identifies agriculture as one of the key growth opportunities with the highest potential to generate employment and have positive multiplier effects on other sectors. It has played a central role in Uganda’s economy accounting for 26.42 per cent of the country’s exports at a growth rate of 3.8 percent and forming 1.65 percent of the GDP.
The overall development strategy of the plan is hinged on the need for rapid industrialization based on increased productivity and production in agriculture. With the largest proportion of households (68.9 percent) still engaged in subsistence economy, improving the incomes of this segment of the population is central in the NDP III through increasing their land productivity and value addition to their products.
During the 5 years of the plan, agriculture’s contribution to growth is projected to reach 1.78 in FY2024/25. At the end of the five-year period, the key results are expected to be achieved are; increasing the rate of growth of the agricultural sector from 3.8 percent to 5.1 percent; and reducing the percentage of households dependent on subsistence agriculture as a main source of livelihood from 68.9 percent to 55 percent.
The Agro-industrialisation programme is an “area-based planning approach” based on a number of strategic commodities that are grown in different defined agro-ecological zones of the country to create backward and forward linkages in agro-processing. Agro-processing is the backbone of the manufacturing sector accounting for approximately 60 percent of its total output.
Agro-industrialization as a programme aims to increase commercialization and competitiveness of agricultural production and agro processing. Key results include:
- Increasing export value of selected agricultural commodities,
- Increasing the agricultural sector growth rate,
- Increasing labour productivity in the agro-industrial value chain,
- Creating jobs in agro-industry, and
- Increasing the proportion of households that are food secure.