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Agriculture is the mainstay of the Ugandan economy, accounting for 24 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), employing two-thirds of the labor force, and providing half of export earnings. With 84 percent of the population still living in rural areas, agriculture is the main source of income and, by extension, the main pathway out of poverty for the majority of Ugandans.

  • 632 THOUSAND
    Producers using new technologies and practices with Feed the Future’s help in FY16
  • $97 MILLION
    New income earned by Feed the Future farmers in FY16 from agricultural sales
  • 882 THOUSAND
    Children under 5 reached with nutrition help in FY16
  • $7.8 MILLION
    New private investment leveraged by Feed the Future in FY16


  • 24.65 PERCENT
    Reduction in the prevalence of poverty in the areas where Feed the Future has worked since 2017
  • 26.4 PERCENT
    Reduction in the prevalence of stunting in children under 5 years old in the areas where Feed the Future has worked since 2017

Key Achievements

Feed the Future and other members of the Nutrition Development Partners platform strengthened partnerships and leveraged resources to help Uganda develop a National Nutrition Policy and a National Advocacy and Communication Strategy. At the sub-national level, Feed the Future helped operationalize the District Nutrition Coordination Committees and complete the National Nutrition Planning Guidelines.

Feed the Future partnered with the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industries and Fisheries and the Uganda National Bureau for Standards to implement a new e-verification system that uses scratch tags to authenticate agricultural inputs on the market. This system gives farmers the confidence to buy improved inputs, knowing that their purchases are guaranteed by the government. Private input firms now willingly purchase the tags for placement on their products. The partnership is a crucial first step in recovering the estimated $1.5 billion in losses from counterfeit inputs that Uganda suffers each year. Feed the Future helped the Government of Uganda finalized a national agriculture extension policy, which embraces a pluralistic, dual public and private approach to agriculture extension.

Feed the Future successfully demonstrated the value of the village agent approach to value chain actors, as well as national and local government stakeholders. The village agent model converts “middle men” into trusted market actors who provide goods and services to farmers. Farmers receiving services from village agents under Feed the Future have achieved gross margins (sales revenue minus the cost of goods sold) of $1,004 in coffee, $680 in maize, and $315 in beans. Recognizing the opportunities presented by the village agent model, Uganda’s Ministry of Agriculture has adopted the model as a means to broaden the reach of its 3,500 extension officers countrywide, demonstrating country ownership of development efforts.


These results reflect information from the U.S. Agency for International Development, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. African Development Foundation and Peace Corps, reported into Feed the Future’s central monitoring system for fiscal year 2016 (FY16). For more information on the indicators above, please view our Feed the Future Indicator Handbook. All dollar amounts are listed in U.S. dollars.


  • Improve nutrition
  • Increase agricultural productivity and expand access to competitive markets
  • Integrate agriculture and nutrition at the household level
  • Strengthen public sector capacity, producer organizations and support services

Zones of Influence in Uganda

Map of Uganda
  • Northern Uganda
  • Central “Maize Belt”
  • Southwest Uganda
  • Karamoja

Background Stats

  • 14.6 MILLION
    Number of people living in Feed the Future target regions
  • 4.6 PERCENT
    Annual GDP growth; agriculture accounts for 24.4% of value added (World Bank, 2016)
  • 83.6 PERCENT
    Percentage of population living in rural Uganda (World Bank, 2016)
  • 32.1 PERCENT
    Percentage of people living in poverty in Feed the Future target regions

Value Chains

  • Beans
  • Coffee
  • Maize
Village Agents, Agents of Change


“Agriculture is the mainstay of the Ugandan economy, accounting for 24 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), employing two-thirds of the labor force, and providing half of export earnings. With 84 percent of the population still living in rural areas, agriculture is the main source of income and, by extension, the main pathway out of poverty for the majority of Ugandans. The vast majority of refugees also rely on agriculture for their livelihoods.

Unfortunately, in a country rich with agricultural potential, the sector substantially underperforms. Almost all crops are produced on smallholder farms where the limited use of modern technology and inputs result in yields averaging less than 40 percent of those realized on research stations. From 2010 to 2014, the sector had a 2.2 percent average annual growth rate, well below the 5.2 percent GDP growth rate and short of matching the 3 percent growth in population. Over 30 percent of the total population faces some level of chronic food insecurity, and malnutrition directly or indirectly contributes to 60 percent of child mortality. The causes of undernutrition among women and children in Uganda vary depending on the region, but include availability of food, cultural and social traditions, and poverty levels.

Uganda’s population growth rate is one of the highest in the world, and the majority of women and youth engage in some form of agriculture or agribusiness. With more than half of the population under the age of 15, Uganda has the world’s second-youngest population. Economic opportunities are limited: the private sector is unable to generate enough jobs to employ the rising youth population and Uganda’s youth face distressing levels of unemployment.

Improvements in the agriculture sector are necessary to further expand Uganda’s economy, reduce poverty and provide jobs. Feed the Future aims to raise farmer incomes and improve the nutritional status of Ugandans in 42 core focus districts plus seven districts in Karamoja. Feed the Future works to increase agricultural productivity and farmers’ access to competitive markets; improve the policy environment for private sector-led agricultural development; widen market openings for agriculture input and machinery suppliers; and improve public sector institutional and human resource capacity.”


Feed the Future supports the following programs, partnerships and organizations in Uganda.

  • Africa Agriculture Technology Foundation
  • Africa Lead II
  • African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD)
  • Agribusiness Development Facility to the African Agricultural Capital Fund
  • Agribusiness Initiative (ABi Trust)
  • Agricultural Biotechnology Support Program (ABSPII)
  • Alur Highlands Coffee Alliance
  • Apolou
  • Banana Bacterial Wilt Resistance
  • Benchmarking the Business of Agriculture
  • Borlaug Higher Education for Agriculture Research and Development
  • Borlaug 21st Century Leadership Program
  • Capacity Development in the Agriculture Sector
  • CGIAR Fund Core Grant with the World Bank
  • Deploying Vegetable Seed Kits to Tackle Malnutrition
  • Drought Tolerant Maize for Africa (DTMA)/Drought Tolerant Maize Seed Scaling (DTMASS)
  • Economic Empowerment and Livelihoods Activity
  • Education and Research to Improve Climate Adaptation
  • Enhancing Climate-Resilience of Agricultural Livelihoods
  • The John Ogonowski and Doug Bereuter Farmer-to-Farmer Program
  • Feed the Future Biosafety Activity
  • Feed the Future Commodity Production and Marketing
  • Feed the Future Enabling Environment for Agriculture
  • Feed the Future FEEDBACK
  • Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Aquaculture & Fisheries
  • Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Assets and Market Access
  • Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Grain Legumes
  • Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Horticulture
  • Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Nutrition
  • Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Peanut Productivity & Mycotoxin
  • Feed the Future Partnering for Innovation
  • Feed the Future Producer Organizations
  • Feed the Future Youth Leadership in Agriculture
  • Food and Nutrition Technical Assistance (FANTA III)
  • Food Safety Training Modules and Networks
  • Gender-Based Advocacy for Ugandan National Coffee Policy Activity
  • Gender Randomized Control Trial
  • Global Agriculture and Food Security Program
  • Governance Accountability Performance and Participation (GAPP)
  • HarvestPlus Partnership
  • Improving Local Stakeholders Readiness to Adapt to Climate Change in Agriculture Activity
  • Innovation in Agricultural Training and Education (InnovATE)
  • International Fertilizer Development Center
  • Karamoja Growth, Health and Governance Activity
  • Karamoja Resilience Support Unit
  • Knowledge-Driven Agricultural Development
  • Maize/Bean Research
  • Modernizing Extension and Advisory Services
  • Norman Borlaug Commemorative Research Initiative (NBCRI)
  • Norman E. Borlaug Leadership Enhancement in Agriculture Program (Borlaug LEAP)
  • Nuyok
  • Peace Corps Interagency Food Security Partnership
  • Policy Advancement for Climate Change Adaptation and Agricultural Development Activity
  • Production for Improved Nutrition
  • Program for Biosafety Systems
  • Solutions for African Food Enterprises (SAFE)
  • Strengthening Partnerships, Results and Innovation in Nutrition Globally (SPRING)
  • U.S. Borlaug Global Food Security Fellows Program
  • USDA Food for Progress Program
  • Virus Resistant Cassava for Africa

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