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Commodity investment needs in the eyes of Ugandan farmers and experts. FAO Agricultural Development Economics Policy Brief 62

This policy brief highlights the main findings from the FAO Agricultural Development Economics Technical Study ‘Identifying commodity-specific priority investments in selected districts of Uganda’. The findings include a ranking from one to eight of priority investment areas – seeds/breeds, fertilizers/veterinary drugs, mechanization, irrigation, extension, research and development for five selected commodities (cassava, coffee, goats, maize and millet) in five districts in Uganda – from the perspective of farmers and local experts, who ultimately produce or support the production of the five commodities.

The findings reveal that for commodities cassava, coffee, goats, maize and millet, the Ugandan farmers and district agriculture experts ranked improved seeds or breeds very highly across the five commodities and districts. Similarly, investments in extension services (more frequent visits, materials and visits given in local languages, and sharing of best practices) were perceived to be critical. Investments in fertilizers also ranked high because cost and quality issues were seen as key constraints to productivity. At the lower end of priority ranking came investments in roads and in electrification. This study can help inform government policymaking and improve the cost-effectiveness of public investments in agriculture as they reveal on-the-ground investment needs from local farmers and experts, while also providing district- and commodity-specific policy evidence, which is important in highly decentralized government services.