PRIVATE SECTOR FORUM
HARNESING DIGITALIZATION FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF AGRICULTURAL VALUE CHAINS IN UGANDA
A conversation where Policy meets Practice
Date: 1st June, 2018
Venue: Makerere University - Food Science conference hall
About the activity
About the Private Sector Forum
The 2018 Private Sector Forum is a buildup of an expert round table discussion held on March 28th 2018. Organized jointly by the African Centre for Trade and Development (ACTADE) and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS), the expert discussion attracted practitioners from the digital landscape for agriculture value chains in Uganda. During the discussion on the benefits and challenges of digitizing agriculture value chains, some main messages stood out:
- Digitization does indeed create benefits for all actors in a given value chain. Presently in Uganda, there are innovations around information services – from access to quality inputs to extension services and markets – facilitated by a phone; to facilitating payments in a faster and convenient manner through mobile payments.
- The challenges faced by the innovators range from inability for clients, especially the small holder farmers to appreciate simple technologies such as how to use SMS; to infrastructural challenges of poor network connectivity and reliability; and the non-supportive policy environment towards Ugandan innovators; among others.
- While innovators are currently making head-way without government assistance, there is need for policy makers to provide more deliberate support towards developing the ecosystem, especially through implementing their mandates well.
In light of the key issues raised at the expert discussion and the need to have a more constructive conversation with actionable policy orientation private sector forum, the Uganda National Farmers Federation (UNFFE) which is the largest Non-Governmental Farmer Organization in Uganda was brought on board as a co-convener of the forum. The sole mandate of the federation is to organize and advocate for favorable policies and transform farmers into prosperous communities. Enlisting UNFEE as a co-convener will thus enrich the forum some participants will be drawn from a network of 200,000 farmers who are UNFFE members.