The value of organic agricultural exports grew by $36m from $123.3m in 2018 to $156m in 2021, the 2022 National Organic Agriculture Statistics Report has revealed.
From the report, the value of organic agriculture grew more between 2018 and 2020 and slowed down in 2021.
“The value of organic exports from 2018 to 2021 was, $123.3m, $137.5m, $156.4m, and $159.8m respectively,” the report reads in part.
From the report, it indicates that between 2018 and 2019, the value grew by $14m, increased to $19m between 2019 and 2020 but slashed to $3m in 2021,” the report reads in part
On the national scale, organic agriculture alone contributed to 8% of the country’s total agricultural exports in 2018 and 10% in 2019
“An economic modeling was done and it forecasts an increase in organic export Value in the FY2022/23 to approximately $182.6m at the upper confidence bound, $174.4m at the middle confidence bound, and $165.3m at the lower confidence bound,” the report adds.
“Trajectory in Organic agriculture growth suggests that it is a promising lucrative venture that has enormous potential in transforming the agriculture sector in Uganda,” it adds
The survey also showed an increase in the total farms from 313,144ha in 2018, 341,877ha in 2019, 432, 427ha in 2020, and 565, 944ha in 2021.
This indicates an increase of 252800ha in four years.
“There was a growth in certified organic area le; 264,480ha, 288,748ha, 346,496ha and 505 308ha for the years 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021, respectively,” reads part of the report.
“The average size of a certified organic farm was 1.25 ha. The total organic land cultivated was, 313,144 ha in 2018, 341,877 ha in 2019, 432 427 Na in 2020, and 565,944 ha in 2021 implying there was an increase in the total certified organic land between 2018 and 2021,” it adds.
The report further reveals that there are 5 certifiers of organic agriculture in Uganda and 13 agro-input dealers.
“There were 211,584 smallholder organic producers, under certification in 2018, this increased to 230,998 in 2019. 277,197 in 2020 and 40,246 in 2021. The large-scale producers or certified operators were 65 in 2018, 68 in 2019, 68 in 2020, and 135 in 2021. Similarly, there were 44 processors in 2018, 58 in 2019, 60 in 2020, and 116 in 2021 In addition. there were 43 exporters in 2018, 52 in 2019, 65 in 2020, and 78 in 2021” the Report reads
Speaking at the release of the report, Chariton Namuwoza the CEO of the National Organic Agriculture Movement of Uganda (NOGAMU), an organization that championed the study said that timely government intervention is key in helping the proper growth of organic agriculture in Uganda.
“The ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) should finalize the drafting of the National Organic Agriculture Bill, to enable the proper implementation of the National Organic Agriculture Policy,” he said.
“There is a need for the government to rationalize and operationalize national budgetary funding towards organic agriculture sub-sector to support coordination and execution of programs for more export growth earning and local consumption for health,” he added.
The Report recommended the need to establish a comprehensive database through continuous research to eliminate information asymmetry at local, regional, and international levels as evidenced in policy action.
The survey was commissioned by NOGAMU with support from partsen, the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA), and the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industries, and FisheriesMAAIF).
Namuwoza said that this could be attributed to increased consumer awareness of the health benefits of organic foods which have ultimately resulted in increased production.
“The policy analysis of National Organic Agriculture policy revealed that; Experts in organic agriculture were consulted, conforms to existing legal frameworks and aligns with a number of policies, protocols, and declarations at regional and international levels,” it adds.
Speaking at the release, Irene Freda Odongtho the Head of Advocacy and Strategic Relations at MAAIF said that government will continuously support organic farming in Uganda.
“Organic Agriculture has great potential to transform the country economically both domestically and internationally,” she said.