Agriculture in East Africa

A farmer planting beans in Bududa District, Uganda


Hands of Action Uganda’s priority
is to invest in agriculture

The rapidly deteriorating climate, growing population and rising food prices pose a threat to the global food production the world over.

In December 2010, the Time Magazine headline read: “Earth to run out of food by 2050”.  While this may have been an overstatement to a few people, UN agencies, scientists and food experts concur that indeed we are in serious trouble if governments don’t act fast to boost the agriculture sector.

This year, East Africa has been hit by one of the worst food crises ever, giving us a glimpse of how such crises would play out in the years to come.  In Uganda, agriculture employs about 80% of population and has accounted for 13.9% of Uganda’s real GDP in the 2010/2011 financial year. The sector also accounted for about 46% of the total export earnings in 2010. Although the role of agriculture in poverty reduction and overall growth in Uganda is well recognised, investment in the sector still remains minimal. There is no time to waste.  Uganda leaders, CBOs, NGOs must sensitize and must invest in making agriculture robust now, enabling more food to be grown in climate-stressed environments, without further exhausting finite natural resources like Elgon, Mabira and so many others that are being depleted.

Uganda’s inflation rate is now at 30.5%
Uganda’s inflation rate, standing at an astounding 30.5%, (source, Bank of Uganda), has been blamed on high food prices due to shortages in food supply caused by the scanty rainfall that has mainly been  caused due to climate change. (source, World Bank)

We are experimenting with new food crops

For the last two decades, government budgetary allocation to agriculture has been less than 5%. The money allocated is hardly enough to revamp the performance of Uganda’s weak agriculture sector where growth has steadily declined from 7.9% in 2000/2001 to 0.9% in 2010/2011. Economists are of the view that government mechanizes and boosts agricultural production through promoting agro-processing, which will create more jobs for both the skilled and unskilled Ugandans.

Hands of Action Uganda has initiated several programs to help our farmers seek out potential crops and new farming methods.

The project was made possible by an initial donation from Marcia Bujold from US who donated agricultural seeds to Hands of Action Uganda.

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