Ugandans agriculture system is by default largely organic due to the very minimal use of external inputs like inorganic fertilizers and pesticides. The use of chemical fertilizers is among the lowest in the world while the use of plant protection chemical is highly regulated. This situation presents a huge potential to promote Organic Agriculture, both for increased and sustainable food production to safeguard food security as well as for enhanced income for the small-scale farmers. The priority and challenge for the Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) is to meet the national self-sufficiency while keeping the agriculture systems largely organic.
On the 29th September, 2020, The Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, members of Parliament, Development partners, Civil Society and other stakeholders launched the National Organic Policy and the Implementation plan. The overall goal of the National Organic Agriculture Policy 2019 is to harness Ugandans Organic agricultural potential by ensuring a well-regulated and coordinated sub sector that contributes to National Development.
In his remarks, Hon. Vincent Ssempijja, the Minister for Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries said that Organic agriculture production has many social, economic and environmental benefits. In response to increasing awareness among consumers, the local organic market is also steadily growing. He emphasized that there are many investments and job opportunities in organic agriculture as well.
The importance of combining science with traditional or indigenous knowledge helps to regenerate agriculture and increase nutrients in the soil. This gives relevance to the organic agricultural production and justifies the need to promote and support it fully in Uganda. The Policy we are launching today will not deliver its purpose if it is left here. It is our responsibility as stakeholders to widely disseminate and advocate for its implementation. I would like to also stress that this Policy requires a corresponding Act to operationalize it. He added.
Organic Agriculture is worth undertaking in Uganda as it enhances achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 and so the approval of the National Organic Agriculture Policy is a strategic move to increase and attract more investors to transition from the conventional Agriculture as well as protect the environment through reduced use of artificial and harmful inputs.
The new normal beyond COVID19 calls for strategic management of the environment to ensure future existence of the human race. For the Agriculture Sector, Organic Agriculture is the way forward. ESAFF Uganda will organize different events at local and national level to popularize the policy and implementation plan among small scale farmers and other stakeholders.
Please follow these links to read the Policy and Plan:
National Organic Agriculture Policy: https://bit.ly/3jDXE7N
National Organic Agriculture Implementation Plan: https://bit.ly/34wiuj4