With 50x2030 support, Uganda continues to provide regular and reliable data on national agricultural sector

On 15 November, the Uganda Bureau for Statistics (UBOS) in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), implementing partner of the 50x30 Initiative, presented the key findings of the 2019 Annual Agricultural Survey (AAS). The presentation provided an opportunity to take stock of the important statistical information generated by the AAS 2019 on the 2019 agricultural year.

The findings were shared during a workshop hosted by UBOS and FAO, in hybrid format, with more than 50 representatives of UBOS, the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industries and Fisheries (MAAIF) and other national institutions and agencies of the Agricultural Development Partners’ Group attending in person and online.

During the workshop, UBOS Acting Executive Director, Mrs. Imelda Atai, stated: “This week we celebrate African Statistics Week, which culminates on the 18th of November, African Statistics Day, an important occasion to showcase the statistics that we have and to demonstrate the public value of statistics. As UBOS, we pledge to work hard and continue producing good statistics. That is what the country needs to inform planning and decision making.”

UBOS has conducted annual agricultural surveys in Uganda since 2017 in collaboration with MAAIF and, from 2018, with the support of FAO.

Agriculture is the backbone of Uganda’s economy. It has been identified as one of the priority sectors for investment, with the greatest multiplier effect on the economy, and a significant role in poverty reduction strategies. According to the Uganda National Household Survey (UNHS) 2019/20, agriculture employs the highest percentage of the working population (68.1%) and contributes to about 21.9 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product.

For this reason, the availability of timely and regular data on the agricultural sector is a fundamental contribution to the country’s agricultural development. This was underscored by Antonio Querido, FAO’s representative in Uganda, in his opening statement:

“Regular agricultural statistics help in understanding trends of the Ugandan agricultural sector as well as cross-cutting issues. For instance, they shed light on the adoption of new agricultural technologies and sustainable production methods and on the effects of new weather conditions on agriculture. In summary, they provide facts for evidence-based decision-making and policy development to improve the performance of the sector and sustainable growth for the country,” he observed.

Specifically, the data generated through the surveys helps the country identify the most urgent policy priorities in order to meet its food security needs and poverty reduction goals, and they provide a solid evidence to support policy makers in planning, designing and implementing effective agricultural policies. The AAS 2019 provides information on a wide range of crop production and livestock indicators, including harvested crop area, production and yield per hectare, use of fertilizers and pesticides, labor input, water management, number of holdings raising livestock, livestock population, livestock products and inputs.

The survey also provides information on the demographic and socio-economic characteristics of agricultural households and supports monitoring of progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals.

Moreover, data collected through agricultural surveys have the potential to shed light on the gender inequalities still occurring in the agricultural sector. For example, the AAS 2019 shows that 41 percent of the adults living in agricultural households hold rights over agricultural land. Such percentage gets as high as 52 percent among the men, while it is 30 percent among the women.

Finally, the survey provides data and information about the households’ level of food security, and reports on the presence of shocks and food shortage among agricultural households and their immediate responses to food shortages.

The key findings of the AAS 2019 will be presented in an upcoming report, which will include all data and information about the survey.

Photo credit: FAO/Petterrik Wiggers