PASIC through its Collective Learning for Policy Action (CoLPA) platform collaborated with Economic Policy Research Center (EPRC) to organize the 4th National Agricultural Policy Forum (NAPF). Participants represented various organs of government, private sector organizations, NGOs among others.
The objectives of the forum were to;
- examine Uganda’s agricultural sector policy framework for policy inconsistencies
- identify the policy implementation gaps and challenges and their effect on the sector
- examine policy options for stimulating productivity in the sector and the forum will then
- contribute to the ultimate outcome of a transformed, highly productive agriculture sector through a deeper understanding of the agricultural policy framework
- Foster participation of relevant agricultural stakeholders among others.
It was officiated by Hon. Vincent Ssempijja – the Minister of State for Agriculture who assured participants that the Government of Uganda values the agricultural sector and has developed policies and programs to support its growth such as; the Poverty Eradication Action Plan (PEAP), the Development Strategy Investment Plan (DSIP), the National Agricultural Policy, and the Land Policy all which are incorporated in the Agricultural Sector Strategic Plan (ASSP).
He acknowledged the challenges faced by the sector such as the weak linkages among agricultural sector policy stakeholders, low adoption of agricultural innovations, such as fertilizers and improved seeds; and appealed to stakeholders to strengthen linkages by engaging in such forums in order to enhance productivity and transformation of the sector.
The Minister pledged to follow up all pending policies and strategies such as the National Seed Policy and strategy. This policy is at formulation stage awaiting approval to advance to the cabinet level. He also pledged to follow up on the National Fertilizer Policy, and strategy which are awaiting approval by cabinet.
Presentations relevant to crop intensification were made by different stakeholders who focused on: the policy development cycle in Uganda, policies relevant for crop intensification of smallholder agriculture, reforms in the Agricultural Extension System, challenges to sustainable crop intensification and; Risk management and coping strategies by small holder farmers.
- From the different presentations and feedback, research and policy makers interacted and in the forum, participants were made aware of the importance, constraints of sustainable small holder intensification using grass-root evidence and acknowledged that an enabling environment is key.
- The Minister made a commitment to ensure that ALL the pending policies and strategies related to crop intensification (i.e. National Seed Policy, National Fertilizer Policy, regulations, and strategy) awaiting approval by Top policy management, or cabinet /parliament are approved.