UGANDA – Uganda has partnered with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Chinese government to undertake the third phase of South-South Cooperation project focused on crop and animal production.
The new phase follows major success recorded in the first two phases which yielded dramatic results, including a quadrupling of rice production per hectare.
In one of the most significant contributions of its kind from a beneficiary country under the initiative, the Ugandan government is putting in US$9.6m through a Unilateral Trust Fund (UTF).
This comes in addition to US$2.38m contributed by China through the FAO-China South-South Cooperation (SSC) Programme Trust Fund.
Under an agreement signed in Kampala by FAO Representative Antonio Querido and Uganda’s Finance Minister Matia Kasaijia, the Uganda UTF will be used to support overall implementation of the project.
It will focus on four areas, i.e. establishment of an integrated technology transfer base; development of high yielding schemes for rice and foxtail millet; support for livestock improvement programmes; and development of the aquaculture value chain.
”The Uganda Trust Fund contribution to Phase III of the SSC project marks a strong endorsement of the significant impact it has already had and a resounding vote of confidence in its potential for continuing improvements to the lives and livelihoods of Ugandan farmers and those who depend on them,” Querido said.
The support is aimed to directly reach a minimum of 9 600 farmers, of whom at least 30 percent will be women, as well as provide training for 200 technical officers in Uganda and China.
China’s technical assistance to Uganda under Phases I and II has already brought significant results, addressing the East African country’s longstanding issues of poor agricultural productivity.
One project area saw a fourfold increase in rice production per hectare, while in other areas, milk production increased from 2 to 7 litres per cow per day.
More than 3 000 Ugandan farmers and 80 government staff have been trained, while high-quality, low-cost fish feed techniques have increased aquaculture production.
Still in Uganda, International Trade Centre (ITC), a joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations, has received US$5.07 million support from Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), to bolster its efforts in supporting agribusiness development in the country.
The funding issued by the development agency of the Government of the Republic of Korea, will support ITC in boosting gender-responsive resilience to natural disasters exacerbated by climate change and environmental degradation.
It will also focus on boosting competitiveness for farming households and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the cassava, shea and oilseed value chains in ten districts across Northern and North-eastern Uganda.
The initiative will be undertaken through the newly launched “Strengthening Agribusiness Resilience and Competitiveness – STAR” particularly focusing on increasing the resilience of women smallholder farmers.