Uganda, China Launches Over Ugx45b Agricultural Transformation Project (SSC)

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On January 20, 2023, the Ministry of Agriculture launched the third phase of South-South Cooperation, a project aimed at supporting agricultural transformation in Uganda in partnership with the Chinese government that will be implemented by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

The launch and inception workshop of the third phase of the FAO-China-Uganda South-South Cooperation (SSC) project were held at the Kajjansi Aquaculture Research and Development Center.

The Minister of State for Agriculture, Bright Rwamirama, applauded the partners and stakeholders for this milestone.

The thirdΒ phase of the project follows the success of the past two phases, with the first phase launched in 2009 by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the government of Uganda, and the People’s Republic of China.

The Minister said that “Uganda will benefit from funding worth USD 12.6 million (approximately Ugx45.6 billion) aimed to support the development of the agriculture sector in Uganda.”

Almost USD 10 million were committed by Uganda and USD 3 million by China, which are held in trust funds at FAO. Uganda’s contribution is one of the most significant contributions by a least-developed country as a beneficiary nation for a SSC project, according to the Minister.

The Vice President of Uganda, Maj. (Rtd.) Jessica Alupo, who graced the event, thanked FAO and the Chinese Government for promoting the development and commercialization of agriculture in Uganda.

VP Maj (Rtd) Jessica Alupo while launching the third phase of South-South Cooperation Programme (Agriculture) on January 20th where she emphasised Uganda’s commitment to transform agricultural sector to spur the economy.

“The Government of Uganda, through the Parish Development Model (PDM), has laid out interventions to transform the country into a modern and prosperous country by 2030,” she said.

VP noted that the aspiration has been predetermined to be actualized through seven pillars, including financial inclusion, production, storage, processing, and marketing, as well as infrastructure and economic services.

“As the implementation of the Project Phase III commences, she wishes to propose that the implementation alignment be strengthened along the PDM aspirations,” she added.

The SSC is a mutual sharing mechanism that allows for the exchange of development solutionsβ€”knowledge, experiences, good practices, policies, technology, and resourcesβ€”between and among countries in the global south.

“This is the longest-running and most successful national project implemented under the FAO-China South-South Cooperation Programme,” said FAO Deputy Director-General Beth Bechdol via video at the launch.

“The key factors contributing to the project’s success are the strong political will, ownership, and leadership of the government of Uganda.” “I believe this project has the potential to further catalyse additional private sector financing and investment to ensure a large-scale and lasting impact on the ground,” she added.

FAO, Uganda, and China have been implementing SSC since 2009 to address priority constraints affecting key agricultural sub-sectorsβ€”crops, fisheries, and livestockβ€”and the commodities within those sub-sectors.

Minister Rwamirama said that the projects in the past benefited over 11 000 participants and supported the agricultural sector’s strategic direction of transforming subsistence farming to commercial agriculture, or the transformation of the agricultural sector and national economy of Uganda.

The project, with a special focus on women and youth, will establish four hubs in Butaleja, Kajjansi, Luwero, and Mbarara for integrated technology transfer bases in livestock, cereals, and aquaculture.

To scale up the achievements from the previous two phases, Phase 3 will centre on four main areas: establishing an integrated technology transfer base;Β developing high-yielding plans for rice and foxtail millet; supporting livestock improvement programmes; and developing aquaculture value chains.

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