Uganda’s favorable soil conditions and climate have contributed to the country’s agricultural success. Most areas of Uganda have usually received plenty of rain. In some years, small areas of the southeast and southwest have averaged more than 150 millimeters per month. In the north, there is often a short dry season in December and January. Temperatures vary only a few degrees above or below 20 °C but are moderated by differences in altitude. These conditions have allowed continuous cultivation in the south but only annual cropping in the north, and the driest northeastern corner of the country has supported only pastoralism. Although population growth has created pressures for land in a few areas, land shortages have been rare.
Below are some incredible agricultural sights you can explore during your stay in Uganda.
The Buganda Kingdom Palace at Bulange Mengo is where the King of Buganda Kingdom lived and where he ruled his subjects from. The King of Buganda was at the centre of all Uganda`s early domestic and commercial agricultural strategies. The Kingdom worked closely with the Bristish to establish itself as a key cotton, coffee and tea producer. Visiting the palace will give you insight into the role Buganda played in enabling commercial agriculture in Uganda.
In the outskirts of Kampala in Kasubi along Kampala – Hoima highway, lies four of the Kings of Buganda (Bassekabaka), who ruled during the periods of imperialism and are directly responsible for the initial spread of Christianity in the Eastern Africa (1870s – 1960s) These include Ssekabaka Muteesa I, Ssekabaka Mwanga II, Ssekabaka Daudi Chwa II and Sir Edward Frederick Muteesa II. The tombs are the final resting place of Uganda`s First President, President Kabaka Fredrick Muteesa II who was also at the helm of ensuring Uganda`s Independence in 1962. Kasubi Royal Tombs were inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in December 2001 and have since become a must visit location for all tourists in Central Uganda. The Kings buried here enabled the use of Buganda`s land for agricultural purposes.
Construction of the Uganda Railway started in 1896 and ended in 1926. Its construction led to an influx of Indian coolies that were brought to Uganda as labour for the construction of the railway. Many of the Indian coolies remained in Uganda and took trade in textile, manufacturing and general trade as economic activities in Uganda. The railway was the most efficient transport means for most of Uganda`s cash crops within the East African Region.
Bark cloth making is an ancient craft of the Baganda people who live in the Buganda kingdom in southern Uganda. Traditionally, craftsmen of the Ngonge clan, headed by a Kaboggoza, the hereditary chief craftsman have been manufacturing bark cloth for the Baganda royal family and the rest of the community. Its preparation involves one of humankind’s oldest savoir-faire, a prehistoric technique that predates the invention of weaving. Visiting the sites where this cloth is made will truly blow your mind.
The Rhino Camp ginnery was one of the first value adding companies in Uganda constructed by a Greek businessman known as Morgan Margah. The work started in 1923 and finished in 1927. Its location was strategic because Rhino Camp was a docking and repair station for steamer ships that were the backbone of water transport through the River Nile.
In 1922, the colonial government opened the Arua-Rhino Camp road that became the main transit route to Pakwach that had the option of a railway link to Kampala. Rhino camp also has an airstrip for light planes providing fast means of travel for officials and businessmen.
It provided critical value addition to Uganda`s cotton which then made it easier to export and be crafted into the finest linens of the time. Visiting this ginnery will give a sneak peek into the cotton ginning industry that made Uganda flourish in her precolonial times.
During the second decade of the 21st Century, NOTU emerged as the largest national trade union. While initially struggling to be relevant and undergoing significant internal divisions between 2000 and 2010, by 2018 the confederation had absorbed unions which had broken away from rival COFTU and increased membership through organizing. Between 2010 and 2018, NOTU’s membership grew by more than three times and represents more than 90% of organized workers in Uganda. Visiting NOTU will give you an in-depth appreciation of Uganda`s initiatives to drive and nurture Uganda into a profitable trade and industry zone.
This historical building has housed 7 parliaments the first one was on 1961 and the last one in recent 2020. The foundation stone for the Parliamentary Building was laid on December 18th, 1956, by the then Governor of Uganda Sir Andrew Cohen. Construction of the main building commenced in 1958. On the October 5th 1962 the then Prime Minster Apollo Milton Obote laid the foundation stone for the independence Arch, at the entrance to the Parliamentary Building. It is here that many of Uganda`s economic decision has been enacted by the Parliament since 1986.
This ministry oversees all the Agricultural activities within Uganda. It is also one of the most resource intensive industries in the country. Visiting it will unveil Uganda`s agricultural strategies with definition to how resources have been allocated across all the areas of tapestry of the country`s agricultural spectrum.
The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives (MTIC) is a cabinet level ministry of the government of Uganda. The mission of the ministry is to “develop and promote a competitive and export-driven private sector through the acceleration of industrial development”, with the ultimate objective being the growth of the Ugandan economy. The ministry is headed by a Minister appointed by the President. Visiting this ministry will give you significant insight into Uganda`s trade history within the context of agricultural development and vision in the next 50 years. It will also highlight investment opportunities, grants and other advantages that can be taken advantage of by both local and international investors.
Uganda has 2 state houses in Entebbe and in Nakasero whereas state house Entebbe has significant importance in more recent history, state house Nakasero has the longest history of housing Uganda`s Presidents. Visiting the national treasures will not only illuminate your understanding of how far Uganda has come in good governance, they are also a testament of Uganda`s stability since 1986.
By 2017, Uganda had declared 27 Industrial Parks to facilitate the growth of industry to boost the value of Uganda`s products on the international markets. These parks have been designed in search a way that investors incur low set up and production costs heavily subsidized by the Government of Uganda to ensure their profitability. In turn majority of their labour must be Uganda citizens, and products are sold as Ugandan products. It has also been part of the country`s strategy to revolutionaries Uganda`s industrial sectors and the newly formed Namanve Industrial Park and Soroti Industrial Parks are evidence of the administration steering Uganda in the direction of economic independence. Visiting these parks will deepen your appreciation of Uganda`s economic direction in light of becoming a highly value adding economy. In addition, you can visit Soroti Fruit factory and experience some of Uganda`s natural sweet juices from home grown fruits like mangoes, pineapples, passion fruit among other flavors.
Coffee is Uganda`s leading export since precolonial times. Uganda`s coffee was ranked 3rd best in the world behind Ethiopia and Kenya by professional coffee tasters in a survey of the top 16 coffee-growing countries in the world. To visit Uganda`s coffee producing districts will give you insights into why Uganda`s coffee is among the world`s best.
Since 2010, expansion of tea activities increased as part of the Presidents Poverty Eradication Campaign, and this led to the development of the tea strategy to expand tea production, processing and marketing within the old and new growing areas through the provision of tea seedlings and advisory services. To effectively promote the production of the crop in the country, in 2014/15 financial year government handed the task of providing tea seedlings to the (National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS). That is when NAADs started buying and distributing tea seedlings to farmers covering 17 tea-growing districts. From 2015 to date, NAADS has distributed close to 500 million tea seedlings to farmers. Most of the tea-growing districts are in South Western Uganda (Greater Ankole and Greater Kigezi Sub-regions), a few in western Uganda (Kyenjojo and Kabarole), Mityana in central Uganda and Zombo in northern Uganda.
According to statistics from the Uganda Tea Association (UTA, 2013), tea is the third major foreign exchange earner, contributing 0.36 per cent of Uganda’s Gross Domestic Product. Even with lower production, tea exports rank as Uganda’s second largest agricultural export only rivaled by coffee.
Visiting Uganda`s tea production districts will not only be sight to behold but will also give an in-depth insight into why tea from Uganda is highly demanded world-wide.
The Owen Falls Dam was constructed in 1938 by the colonial British to provide hydroelectricity and be an incentive for foreign companies to invest in setting up industries in Uganda. It was the first hydroelectric dam in Uganda and it supported all precolonial coffee, tea, cocoa and mining industries. Uganda has in the recent past complimented it with the new Nnalubaale Power station along with 6 other Dams. The Dam`s bridge which had started becoming weak was also recently relieved of heavy duty with the newly constructed Nile Bridge to ease the transportation of people and products across the region.
The ginnery is Uganda`s oldest ginnery and was known to produce cotton for large scale export. The ginnery is said to have been fully operational by 1911 and supported over 11 districts of cotton growers throughout the Eastern region of Uganda.
This is a fast developing sector in Uganda and it provides economic productivity among Uganda`s cattle keeping communities in Northern and Western Uganda. By June 2019, annual milk production in the country had risen to 2.4 billion liters, with export earnings from the sector, bringing in US$100 million per year. However, the earning potential could increase to US$500 million annually, if the country would control the high death rates in exotic cattle.
Dairy farming is a major activity in the southwestern, central, and northeastern parts of the country, with the sector contributing significantly to the economic, nutritional, and employment opportunities of the rural communities in those areas. Uganda’s Central and Western Regions account for about 50 percent of national milk production. This production is predictable and available all year round. During the dry season, the northern, northeastern, and eastern parts of the country experience a drastic reduction in milk output. Uganda has a very vibrant diary industry producing milk, cheese, ghee and other milk products.
Visiting the Diary Farm and Production Plants will give you firsthand experience of Uganda`s diary production process and give deep insight of why you Uganda`s milk should be part of your staple diet.
Whereas Uganda is on the road to industrialisation, she still has so many Ugandan thrive in a very subsistent economy. To facilitate better trade conditions for market vendors, modern markets have been built for citizens to easily sell their produce in a safe and clean environment. Visit one of these markets to buy the best fresh home grown agricultural products.
Uganda produces up to 15 000 tonnes of fish from aquaculture, including production from small-scale fish farmers, emerging commercial fish farmers and stocked community water reservoirs and minor lakes. There are an estimated 20 000 ponds throughout the country with an average surface area of 500 m² per pond. With improved market prices for fish, government intervention for increased production and stagnating supply from capture fisheries, aquaculture has begun to attract entrepreneurial farmers seeking to exploit the business opportunity provided by the prevailing demand for fish. This recent expansion in aquaculture has also resulted in the transformation of 20 percent to 30 percent of the smallholder subsistence ponds into profitable small-scale production units through developments in management as well as scale of production. It is estimated that there are 2 000 such farmers who own nearly 5 000 ponds, with an average pond size of 1 500 m² per pond.
The new entrants, mostly from the middle and working class as well as a few businessmen, target specific and established markets. They have adopted improved production systems including inputs from technical experts for better planning and management. Pond surface is in the range of 5 000 m² to 50 000 m² numbering 500, an estimated 20 percent to 30 percent of which are active. Visit one of these fish farms and you will truly be amazed
To facilitate the development of state-of-the-art banana-based sustainable processing enterprises, applying Technology Business Incubator (TBI) and Industrial Technology Park (ITP) system principles to help farmers/ entrepreneurs, and to sustainably add value to matooke to yield profitable and competitive products. The group envisages that by adding value to bananas and storing them for much longer, the farmers who have been making losses whenever there is a bumper harvest will be able to save their harvest. In its seven years of operation, PIBID has registered remarkable success. Among these is the fact that they have now successfully created a Matooke brand, not only in the region, but also across the world called, ‘Tooke’. ‘Tooke’ is the brand name for a range of products developed as part of Uganda’s Presidential Initiative on Banana Industrial Development (PIBID), established in 2005 as a pilot project to develop and commercialise banana flour. The flour, which has been tested against international quality standards in Germany and France, is now being promoted throughout Uganda and is being used in bread, cakes, biscuits and other processed products, including baby food. It is hoped that ‘Tooke’ products will also prove successful in export markets. Visiting this Banana research centre will open your eyes to a myriad of ways in which bananas can be profitable across the world
Poultry farming is one of the most lucrative businesses in Uganda and the world at large. The increasing demand for chicken meat and eggs resulting from the growing population and townships across the country provides an opportunity for new and existing farmers to cash in on this enterprise. Visiting one of Uganda`s leading Poultry farm will open you up to the opportunities within the Poultry Farming business in Uganda and the region.
This organization was set up for the development of Agriculture in Uganda by offering world class research services, advisory services and management advisory services for Ugandan`s in the Agricultural Sector. They are at the helm of ensuring that the transform agricultural production in Uganda into a modern science-based market oriented agriculture capable of greater efficiency, profitability and of sustaining growth in the agricultural sector while contributing to poverty eradication; In addition, they promote agriculture and related industry for the purposes of contributing to the improvement of the quality of life and livelihoods of the people, having regard to the protection of the environment. Visiting them will give you a deep experience of the milestones of Uganda in terms of Agriculture and the opportunities therein in line with the government`s 50-year agricultural strategy.
Other key organizations to visit are the National Agricultural Advisory Organization and Kawanda Research Institute.