Building infrastructure and support services around market demands proves successful in Uganda - IOE
Kampala, 2 December 2023 – IFAD’s integrated value chain approach has strengthened agro-processing and market linkages for select commodities in Uganda. Reduced transport costs and higher market prices due to improved road access, plus added value through bulking and processing, have contributed to higher household incomes. These findings relate to the Uganda Country Strategy and Programme Evaluation (CSPE), which Dr Indran A. Naidoo, Director of the Independent Office of Evaluation of IFAD (IOE), presented to a group of distinguished representatives of the IFAD Executive Board (EB) during a country visit to the Republic of Uganda.
Organized from 26 November to 2 December 2023, the visit enabled the EB representatives to witness IFAD’s work on the ground, and observe first-hand the opportunities and challenges that the Fund faces in carrying out its mandate. Delegates included Lamia Ben Redouane, Permanent Representative of Algeria to the Rome-based UN agencies; Gerson Mateus Dos Santos Francisco, Third Secretary of the Embassy of Angola to Italy; Veronika Baumgartner-Putz, Senior Advisor of Austria to International Financial Institutions; Zeng Shiyang, Second Secretary of Permanent Mission of the People's Republic of China to the Rome-based UN agencies; Lisbeth Jespersen, Minister Counsellor of The Royal Danish Embassy in Rome; Ronald Meyer, Alternate Permanent Representative of Germany to the International Organizations in Rome; Erma Rheindrayani, Counsellor of the Embassy of Indonesia to Italy; Miguel Jorge García Winder, Permanent Representative of Mexico to the Rome-based UN agencies; Yaya O. Olaniran, Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the Rome-based UN agencies; Petter Nilsson, Deputy Permanent Representative of Sweden to IFAD; and Krisztina Bende, Permanent Representative of Switzerland to the Rome-based UN agencies.
The mission promoted dialogue with state and local government officials regarding IFAD’s role in Uganda, allowed Board representatives to meet beneficiaries, and provided an insight into the importance of public policy as a means of promoting rural development. In addition, EB members also gained a better understanding of the lessons emerging from the 2021 CSPE carried out by IOE. Dr Nadioo’s presentation offered an opportunity to discuss what the Government and IFAD have learnt from this CSPE, and how they have used it to prepare a new strategy and to enhance the portfolio.
Dr Naidoo explained that sufficient evidence indicates that IFAD-funded programmes have contributed alongside other factors to growing productivity and incomes, although some of these increases derive from the success of past investments and to better weather conditions in recent years. IFAD’s investments in rural finance have been effective in terms of outreach, building linkages between local savings and credit groups and service providers, and in terms of regulatory reforms. Sustainability now depends on the ability of groups to pay for services, while apex organisations still face challenges. It is recommended that IFAD expand its effective value chain approach to other commodities with greater beneficiary outreach potential.
These findings were complemented by the information that the EB members gathered first-hand during their field visits to IFAD-supported operations in Nwoya, Gulu and Kalangala Districts. During the visits, Board representatives held discussions with beneficiaries, farmers’ groups, representatives of small and medium enterprises and local government authorities. In the Nwoya District, the group meet with representatives of KAMP Feed, an animal feed producer that sells to both distributors and directly to farmers, using local raw materials, co-financed by the Small and Medium Sized Agricultural Development Fund of the European Union.
In the Gulu District, meetings took place with beneficiaries of the Project for the Restoration of Livelihoods in the Northern Region (PRELNOR). The project aims to increase sustainable production, productivity and climate resilience of smallholder farmers and provide increased and profitable access to domestic and export markets. In Kalangala, the EB members visited the National Oil Palm Project (NOPP) and the Vegetable Oil Development Project 2 (VODP2), including on-site stop to an oil palm mill. The projects aim at increasing the domestic production of vegetable oil and its byproducts, thus raising rural incomes for smallholder producers and ensuring the supply of affordable vegetable oil products to Ugandan consumers.
Following these on-the-ground visits, back in Kampala, the EB group and Dr Naidoo held discussions with high-level government authorities and key donors at the national level. Interactions included meetings with the Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning and Development, and the Ministry of Local Government. The group also engaged with the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Uganda, as well as with other UN Rome-based agencies.
Looking ahead, the EB representatives will report on the country visit at a future session of the Board, and in doing so will provide informed guidance on strategic and operational matters to the rest of the EB to enhance their critical oversight and strategic role.
Uganda’s economy has grown strongly in the past 20 years though it has slowed to 5.2 per cent in the past decade, while per capita growth has slowed to 1.6 per cent due to high population growth. Agriculture provides just a quarter of national GDP but employs 72 per cent of the labour force. Imports of processed food and particularly vegetable oil remain high. Poverty has worsened in recent years with a fifth of Ugandans living below the poverty line, and inequality persists particularly in rural areas, the north, amongst women, youth and refugees.
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- To access Dr Naidoo’s presentation of the Uganda Country Strategy and Programme Evaluation 2021, please click here.
- To access the full Uganda Country Strategy and Programme Evaluation report, please click here.
- To access the brochure ‘More than a journey | 20 years of independence, please click here.
- To access Fabrizio Felloni’s interview on the evolution of independence of IOE, please click here.
- To learn why independent evaluation makes IFAD a more credible institution, please click here.