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A tool to support the spatial prioritization of commodity-specific investments. An application to Uganda

In this paper, we propose a simple methodology to select a limited number of geographical areas to prioritize for commodity-specific investments in Uganda. Similar to other approaches for prioritizing investments geographically, the basic idea behind the proposed method is that districts with high agro-ecological potential, that are also far from their potential and have high levels of poverty, should be prioritized for commodity-specific investments as they are where investments are likely to have the highest impact. The methodology then proposes an iterative elimination algorithm to provide a list of suggested districts that rank high in all dimensions.

The results highlight that prioritized districts are very context and commodity specific. In certain cases (e.g. sugar cane or millet), prioritized districts tend to be highly concentrated in one geographical region, whereas they tend to be more spread out for the sectors producing other commodities (i.e. bananas, coffee, goats, cassava and maize). The results are expected to inform a discussion with policymakers in Uganda which is expected to culminate in the selection of an even narrower set of districts for which more in-depth analyses of commodity-specific investments will be undertaken at the level of priority areas, including, among others, irrigation, mechanization, seeds and fertilizers.

Policy Theme