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FAO in Uganda

Uganda at a glance

89 percent of the population in Uganda is food secure. This population still has normal access to food from own production and in the market following average harvests from first season 2014. Food prices in the market are affordable. They have acceptable food consumption score; can afford at least three meals per day of a diversified diet. They also have adequate energy intake. The available food stocks at household level is expected to last them up to the first harvest of 2016 (IPC 2015). 12 percent of the total population in the country is chronically food insecure. These are scattered Karamoja, Teso and Acholi regions. This has been attributed to poor rainfall performance during the first season 2015, which was characterized by long dry spells.

The food security prospects of Karamoja are expected to worsen as many households experienced a failed to below normal harvest in 2015. Currently non-seasonal (El Nino) rains are being experienced in the region; however households are not making use of these rains.

Food availability is not a limiting factor in most regions of Uganda except in Karamoja, East Central and West Nile where production and productivity, frequent dry spells and lack of extension services affect production. Though food is largely available, food access and utilization are major limiting factors in three regions and minor limiting factors in other regions. This has been attributed to low level of incomes, storage, inadequate nutritional awareness, cultural food preferences, poor sanitary and food preparation practices and wastage of food during harvest periods due to festivities.

Crop production

Farmers depend on access to good quality seed of well-adapted, productive crops to allow them to produce the best possible crops. FAO works with the Government of Uganda through the National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO) and farmer groups to promote the multiplication and diffusion of quick maturing, drought tolerant and disease-free seeds and vegetatively-propagated planting materials in order to improve farm yields.

FAO also continues to collaborate with MAAIF and its agencies, such as NARO, in management of key crop pests and diseases.

Livestock production and Health

Control, management and prevention of trans-boundary animal diseases: FAO works with Government of Uganda and other stakeholders to prevent the outbreak and/or control the spread of transboundary animal diseases such as Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD), African Swine Fever(ASF), East Coast Fever(ECF), Contagious Bovine Pleuropeumonia (CBPP), Contagious Caprine Pleuropneumonia (CCPP), and Peste des Petits Ruminants (PPR).This is being implemented adopting the principles of Risk Based Control Strategy and for FMD specifically, the Progressive Control Pathway (PCP) roadmap is in place.

In Karamoja alone, a total of 1.3 million livestock heads of the 1.5 million targets, have already been vaccinated against FMD, CBPP, CCPP and combined PPR/Sheep goat pox, as well administering comprehensive supportive therapy to a few sick livestock of the beneficiary communities during vaccination campaign.

FAO is contributing to strengthening extension services in the animal health sector by training and equipping Community Animal Health Workers (CAHWs) and equipping them with basic veterinary kits.

FAO has also supported the Department of Animal Health of MAAIF to rollout the Event Mobile application (EMA) under the Emergency Prevention System for Animal Health (EMPRES-AH) to cover the whole Karamoja region. EMA is a real-time reporting system using smart phone technology

Fisheries and aquaculture

FAO has worked with the Department of Fisheries Resources which is mandated to promote, guide, support and regulate fisheries sub sector which has significantly contributed to the economy in terms of employment creation, income and food security.

FAO was instrumental in the lifting of ban on fish export imposed on Uganda to the European Union (EU) markets in 1997 because the country’s fish processors and exporters failed to meet the new EU Hygiene and Processing quality standards for fish exports. Working with the Lake Victoria Fisheries Organization (LVFO), FAO has supported the establishment of an information and coordination system for aquaculture agencies in the riparian countries.

Value addition, agro-processing and marketing

Using the value chain approach, FAO has undertaken a number of initiatives to promote trade and access to markets by smallholder farmers. Linkages and partnerships have been created with various organizations engaged in rice and sunflower value-chains in Northern Uganda.

FAO has provided food processing equipment, market information and supported the construction of storage facilities for farmer groups whose capacity has been built to enable them meet the high demand for the products but also assisted farmer groups to produce more profitably, add value and access markets for potatoes, milk, fruits and honey.

Agricultural knowledge, information and statistics

FAO supports the Government of Uganda to generate reliable and detailed information on the nature of food security and malnutrition for decision making through implementation of the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) in Uganda. FAO facilitates the analysis of food security using the IPC Analytical Protocols resulting in the availability of up-to-date and reliable food security information, which is used for planning and early warning.

FAO is engaged in running the Drought Early Warning System (DEWS) in Karamoja region of Uganda that is leading in providing updated data for early warning and action.

Enhancing extension services

FAO successfully introduced and has been up-scaling the adoption of the Farmer Field Schools (FFS) methodology in Uganda. The approach has been used as a powerful empowerment tool for providing vital agricultural skills, knowledge, and information to rural communities in disadvantaged regions of Uganda, to practically engage in actions that transform their livelihoods through a systematic learning process.

The FFS in Uganda has been adapted to suit the complex and diverse needs of the smallholder farmers, and evolved over time into a transformative approach used in different contexts to improve productivity for food security, reducing rural poverty, restoring agricultural productivity among internally displaced persons and refugee communities and building resilience among farmers and agro pastoral communities. To date, FAO Uganda, through various implementing partners has supported the establishment of over 4000 FFS/APFS, trained 58 master trainers, over 780 facilitators and build capacity of over 50 NGOs both local and international in the approach.

Climate change mitigation and adaptation

Uganda is among African countries affected by current climate change and variability. In response to these challenges, since 2012, FAO has embarked on integrated strategy to support the efforts of Government of Uganda on Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) by strengthening knowledge and capacities of national, district government institutions and communities, improving better access to water for livestock and crops through water for production investments and improving resilience of agriculture production systems through community-based adaptation options.

FAO has established and equipped a climate change resource centre, which provides a one-stop centre for relevant data and information on climate change in Uganda. In addition, FAO, through the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF), has equipped four NARO research stations to enhance their capacity to deal with climate change related challenges.

FAO has also supported the integration of climate change issues in the National Development Plan II (2015/16-2019/20) and the development of Intended Nationally Determined Contribution for submission to UNFCCC in preparation for CoP21 in 2015.

Water for production

Water remains the most critical factor of agricultural production in Uganda. The agricultural production systems are largely rainfed. The availability of water for crops and livestock, especially, in the semi-arid cattle corridor is being affected by climate change and variability, and this is expected to continue in the coming years with severe consequences on rural livelihoods.

FAO is working with Government of Uganda through the Ministry of Water and Environment (MWE) and Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) to improve access of crops and livestock to water for production. Consistent with on-going Government strategy, FAO’s support covers construction of new water systems, rehabilitation of old/ existing water systems and improvement of agricultural water use efficiency.

FAO is also piloting water use efficiency and crop water productivity initiatives through the use of tested application tools such as MASCOTE and AQUACROP in Mobuku irrigation scheme in Western Uganda and supports water monitoring and allocation activities in the Karamoja region for decision-making.