Promoters of agro industralisation drive

The Economic Policy Research Centre (EPRC) is finalising a report on fostering a sustainable agro-industrialization agenda in Uganda.

Agro industrialization is aimed at transforming Uganda into a modern and industrial country through adding value by processing and increasing exports of higher value products.

Speaking during a validation workshop held recently in Kampala, EPRC’s Principal Research Fellow Ibrahim Kasirye said Uganda’s agro industrialization agenda is pivoted in three areas: Agro-processing, distribution, and farm input provision activities, institutional and organizational coordination between agro-industrial firms and farms and parallel changes in the farm sector, such as changes in product composition, technology, and sectoral and market structures.

Once attained, he added, agro Industrialization would propel Uganda’s aspirations of attaining lower middle-income status by 2020, having an industrialised economy and transformed agriculture sector.

However, Kasirye says that missing links in policy coordination, budgeting, structural bottlenecks and knowledge gaps lie amidst agro industrialization agenda.But these call for comprehensive policy implementation plans, sequential budget support to industries that support forward and backward linkages, ease access to finance for local agriculture firms and strengthening of gaps between scientists, policy makers and private sector.

The EPRC agro industrialization study seeks to among others; examine how the current global, continental, regional as well as domestic policy, legal and institutional frameworks support or hinder agro-industrialisation in Uganda and map requisite support services to support agro-industrialization activities.

The study will end with generation of five policy briefs and a final report that shall be shared during the national conference on Agro-industrialisation in April 2018.

The study will also inform the drafting of Uganda’s agro-industrialisation policy and public investment policy.

Government’s agro industrial efforts include the BIDCO for vegetable oil project in Kalangala, the Banana Industrial Development (PIBID) in Bushenyi, Soroti Fruit Factory, Kisoro Potato Processing Industries (KPPIL), Luwero Meat-processing-factory and Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) among others.