The National Alliance of Agricultural Co-operatives (NAAC) has called for the formation of a nationwide agricultural advocacy platform to bridge the gap between the government and the other actors in Uganda’s agricultural sector.
The call was made at a recent consultative meeting organized by the NAAC, which was attended by, among others, representatives from the Office of the Prime Minister, Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, and Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Cooperatives.
During the meeting, the national level co-operative union shared the findings of a survey it conducted to describe and analyze the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in the relationships between market actors within selected value chains.
The resulting report identified and measured resilience strategies adopted by different market actors following lockdown measures rolled out by governments across the globe in response to the pandemic.
Connecting actors in the Agric sector
Key among recommendations on how to strengthen the functionality and inclusiveness of markets in the wake of the pandemic was the establishment of a National Agricultural Advocacy Platform.
The platform will provide a permanent space for sector actors to engage the Government of Uganda and other stakeholders with policy proposals to develop resilient Agri-market systems that can mitigate, adapt to and recover from shocks and stresses while facilitating inclusive growth.
One of the participants, Joseo Tegyeza, a Commissioner from the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), emphasized the need to adapt pragmatically to the post-pandemic reality without sacrificing service delivery.
“We need to pin COVID-19 squarely by finding ways to work around it because it’s the only way forward. We shouldn’t use it as an excuse not to deliver,” he said.
For his part, Dr. Moki M. Abubaker, Commissioner for Policy Development and Capacity Building at OPM, called for partnerships among the various entities saying, “that it is the only way to reach out to all stakeholders, especially the farmers.”
The survey’s sample comprised of 886 Ugandan farmers (35% female) and 470 businesses, and included traders, transporters, processors, and financiers from Ntugamo, Mubende, Kasese, Bushenyi, Kiruhura, Ibanda, Sembabule, Wakiso, Lira, Gulu, and Tororo, to mention but a few.
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