Uganda is one of the fastest growing economies in Africa, but growth constraints remain high, particularly in the north. Uganda is on target to meet its first Millennium Development Goal of halving poverty and hunger by 2015. However, under-nutrition and poverty are still prevalent throughout the country and with one of the highest population growth rates in the world at 3.2%, is at risk of remaining entrenched in a cycle of poverty.
Despite these constraints, northern Uganda makes up 30% of the country’s total land surface, providing significant opportunities and potential for agricultural development and growth, particularly in commercial farming. Moreover, Northern Uganda’s diverse climate can sustain a number of different crops for nutrition and food security purposes, sold to local and regional markets, or traded internationally. All of these crops, however, have varying levels of climate vulnerability.
The priority of the project NU-TEC is to facilitate the transition of Northern Uganda form an isolated region, highly vulnerable to climate change and affected by a long conflict, into a dynamic, resilient, wealth creating economy, supplying more and greater value products into local markets and global supply chains.
NU-TEC will catalyse investment in markets and climate smart practices, strengthening existing supply and distribution chains and accelerating new business models, products and services, to overcome the systemic constraints and market failures holding back investments and growth.
The project partners have vast experience in Uganda and the agricultural sectors on which the NU-TEC project is likely to focus. A critical component for increasing investments into climate smart agriculture depends upon leveraging the expertise and interests of Uganda’s agribusiness firms, investors and technology providers that can be brought together to make markets work more effectively in the North.
NU-TEC aims to increase the incomes and climate resilience of poor men and women in northern Uganda by
(a) stimulating sustainable, pro-poor growth in selected agricultural markets and
(b) improving the position of poor men and women within these market systems, to make them more inclusive for poor people.
The project facilitates the development of new business models and markets that benefit the poor and increase their climate resilience by:
Swisscontact is specifically providing technical assistance to design and pilot agri business investments that increase business competitiveness of agri businesses and benefit small holders in the agri systems. This includes market selection and analysis, sector mapping, product analysis and training in market systems development.
NU-TEC has the potential to sustainably and significantly improve the livelihoods of over 750,000 poor people in Northern Uganda. It is expected that the programme will deliver the following results: