The Uganda Strategy Support Program is an initiative to strengthen evidence-based policymaking in Uganda in the areas of rural and agricultural development. Facilitated by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), USSP works closely with the government of Uganda, represented by the Plan for Modernization of Agriculture (PMA) secretariat, and other development partners to provide information relevant for the design and implementation of Uganda’s agricultural and rural development strategies.
Agriculture has the potential to drive wide-reaching economic transformation in Uganda. With nearly three-quarters of Ugandan households directly dependent on farming or animal industries, the agricultural sector is central to the Ugandan government’s strategy for meeting the twin challenges of reducing poverty and fostering broad economic growth. Over the past two decades, agricultural policies linked to government investment and economic liberalization have been instrumental in bringing poverty rates down from 56 percent in 1992 to 31 percent in 2006.
Yet significant challenges remain. While Uganda’s total GDP has more than tripled since 1990, agricultural real annual growth has declined
in recent years, from 7.9 percent in 2000/1 to 2.6 percent in 2008/9, a rate insufficient to meet the agricultural needs of a rapidly growing
population. As a result, an increasing number of people are unable to meet their basic needs and are at greater risk of food insecurity and malnutrition.
Further improvements in agricultural productivity, market mechanisms, and policy making are critical to realizing the Ugandan government’s vision of a competitive, profitable, and sustainable agricultural sector.
The Uganda Strategy Support Program (USSP) of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) works in partnership with the Ugandan government to implement the government’s Agricultural Sector Development Strategy and Investment Plan (DSIP). Drawing on the skills and experience of local and international researchers, USSP generates policy-relevant evidence on priority agricultural and rural development issues.
The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) has been conducting policy research and capacity-building in Uganda since the late 1990s. In 2007 IFPRI launched the Uganda Strategy Support Program (USSP) with three primary goals:
1. Generate and communicate policy research needed for more effective evidence-based decision-making.
2. Develop practical and comprehensive conceptual frameworks, analytical tools, databases, and decision support systems for strategy
development, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation
3. Strengthen the capacity of national institutions to formulate and implement relevant strategies and monitor and evaluate progress against goals and targets.
USSP is now entering into its second phase, during which it will continue to work closely with the government of Uganda through the PMA Secretariat, the Uganda Bureau of Statistics, and other key policy research and planning agencies to provide information for the design and implementation of agricultural and rural development strategies.
STRATEGIC POLICY RESEARCH AREAS
Pro-poor growth. How can agricultural and economic growth be achieved in ways that benefit the poor? What are the current and potential opportunities and constraints for pro-poor growth?
Public investments. What are the returns on investment of the government’s agricultural expenditures? What are the impacts of public programs, such as agricultural extension services, on agricultural productivity, the welfare of rural households, and economic growth?
Competitiveness. How can Uganda’s farmers become more competitive in regional and international markets?
Commercialization. How can smallholder farmers be better integrated into agribusiness value chains? What interventions are most effective at helping farmers commercialize? What investments are needed to ensure that farmers engaged in specialized commercial agricultural production
are able to assure the food security of their households through agricultural markets?
Decentralization. How can decentralization of government services to local authorities be made more pro-poor? How can the poor get the services they need most efficiently and effectively?
Markets and services. How can agricultural marketing and agro-processing systems be strengthened? How can agricultural finance mechanisms be made more accessible to smallholder farmers?
Natural resources. What can be done to increase agricultural productivity per unit of land? What can the government do to improve natural resource management and soil fertility?
Poor and vulnerable groups. Which policy and institutional reforms will improve access to land among poor and vulnerable groups? How can the economic vulnerability of smallholder farmers be reduced?
Agricultural data systems. How can comprehensive, timely and sufficiently disaggregated data on agricultural production be produced for policy formulation, program design, and monitoring and evaluation purposes?
KEY USSP ACTIVITIES
• Strengthening the Strategic Analysis and Knowledge Support System node for Uganda (SAKSS-Uganda), a system for sharing key data
and analyses with Ugandan policymakers.
• Assessing the economics of smallholder agricultural production, as well as studying agricultural trade and marketing systems.
• Monitoring and evaluating programs aimed at poverty reduction and agricultural income generation.
• Strengthening Uganda’s food and agricultural statistics system.
• Responding in a timely manner to demands for specific agricultural policy research.
• Building a network of Ugandan data providers and analysts for policy research on agricultural development issues.
For more information, visit http://www.ifpri.org/ussp
Dr. Bjorn Van Campenhout, Head
International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
Plot 15, East Naguru Road
P.O. Box 28565
Tel.: +256-414-285060 or -064
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com