The study is an analysis of Uganda’s draft National Industrial Development Policy and the extent to which agro-processing, trade, climate change, food security and gender are mainstreamed therein. It employs case studies from Jinja and Mayuge districts to provide empirical evidence to aid the development of policy recommendations. It also draws on lessons from global best practices of India and Britain.
The study is an analysis of Uganda’s draft industrial development policy and the extent to which agro-processing, trade, climate change, food security and gender are mainstreamed therein.
In the recent years, Uganda’s industrial development strategy has been resuscitated, to promote industrialisation in order to address the current development challenges. Despite the steady economic growth rate of over 5.5 percent pa, Uganda still grapples with high unemployment rate of 3.8 percent, low levels of income with 32 percent of the country’s population falling below the poverty line. Agriculture which employs the largest percentage (69 percent) of Uganda’s population has not been supported to undertake value addition through industrialisation. This has affected agricultural production and productivity, leading to increased rural-urban migration and its associated effects. Lack of value addition has led to the export of raw materials leading to a high trade deficit of $1921. In a country like Uganda where over 90 percent of the population derives their livelihood from agriculture and agro related activities, there is a dire need to ensure that the country’s industrial development complements the sector through strengthening forward and backward linkages.
For sustainable development to occur, it is important to ensure that the draft national industrial development policy incorporates, recognises and promotes the key issues of agro-processing, climate change, food security, trade and gender and their complex interconnection. Mainstreaming these key development issues will ensure that the resultant development meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Hence this study was undertaken with the aim of assessing the extent to which the draft industrial policy takes into account agro-processing, climate change, food security, trade and gender. Through desk reviews and field research, the study examined the nexus between agro-processing, trade, climate change, food security and gender as a basis for identifying their importance in any industrial policy. It analysed the inherent gaps in the draft policy with regard to the study variables and identifies the challenges to mainstreaming these variables into the policy. The study also reviewed case studies in the agro-processing sector in the context of the main study variables. Global best practices were analysed to draw lessons on how to develop a sustainable agro-industrial policy for Uganda.
The major findings of this study are; (i) agro-processing, trade, climate change and food security are interlinked and each variable relates to another in a cause-effect relationship- while there is a glaring need to mainstream gender and its effect on the national policies; (ii) the draft National Development Industrial Policy (NIDP) is still lacking the incorporation of these cross cutting issues; (iii) there are still eminent challenges to mainstreaming agro-processing, trade, climate change, food security and gender in the national industrial policy and other related policies. The study therefore provided general and specific recommendations on how to solve these challenges and mainstream these variables in the NIDP.