Mon. Apr 15th, 2024

The National Organic Agricultural Movement of Uganda (NOGAMU), an umbrella organization for all actors in the organic value chain in the country has projected that organic food export from Uganda will increase by 40 per cent from the current $159 million in 2024.

The foods eligible for sale in either fresh or processed forms are cultivated using organic farming methods, which exclude the use of chemical pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, and genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

They include fruits, herbs, vegetables, meat, dairy products and poultry products as well as processed drinks, and frozen meals.

The projected growth is attributed to the increasing demand for major crops grown in the country such as coffee, tea, cocoa, oil crops such as sesame, chia, and sunflower, fruits and vegetables, soybeans, herbs and spices, vanilla, chilli, ginger, shea butter and cotton.

Already there is demand for organically produced cereals, yams, sweet potatoes, cassava, pulses, and indigenous vegetables in the domestic market.

According to Chariton Namuwoza, CEO at NOGAMU, to meet the demand, there is a need for the government and all stakeholders in the organic foods value chain to work together.

“We need to focus on the organic production of coffee, for instance, which already has increased demand in the international markets and get the country positioned as the net exporter of the crop and others as there is a ready market due to the increasing health conscious consumers world over,” said Namuwoza.

He also added that there is a need for research on organic farming in the country to ascertain challenges affecting the sector and assist with quality assurance.

“The question whether Uganda can engage in large-scale organic agriculture no longer stands,” said the CEO during a National Consultative Meeting on the Organic Agriculture Bill.

NOGAMU has strategized itself at the center of the organic agricultural sector in Uganda, connecting farmers, processors and state representatives to facilitate the sustainable growth of the growing industry.

Uganda is one of the leading African countries producing and exporting organic products to the EU, US, Japan and other export destinations.

Organic Agriculture contributes approximately 17.1 per cent of the value of agricultural exports which currently stand at USD 291.2 million per annum, according to the National Budget Framework Paper FY 2017/18 (MoFPED, 2017/18).

In total, the country managed export sales worth USD 56.9 million of organic produce in 2016 and USD 50 million in 2018.

The country is also leading in Africa with 210,352 organic farmers and the third in Africa after Tunisia and Tanzania with 262,282 ha organic land, representing 1.8% of total agricultural land and 158,328 ha wild collection.

By Joy

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