Uganda: Landscape Assessment of Agro-Industrial Parks
This report was authored by Hayden Aldredge (Manager, ISF Advisors) with support from Eugene Ntananga (Transaction Advisor, Samawati Capital) and Dan Zook (Executive Director, ISF Advisors) , and oversight from Daniella Maor (Senior Private Sector Engagement Advisor, DAI/MSP).
This report explores the primary opportunities for donors to further support the Government of Uganda’s (GoU) ambitious agro-industrialization (AGI) agenda, a key goal in its latest National Development Plan (NDPIII, 2020).
The landscape assessment focused on three specific objectives:
- Support the GoU in implementing NDPIII with respect to agro-industrialization
- Better align market dynamics of agro-industrial parks with their goals
- Engage further with the development of agro-industrial parks
The GoU has identified agro-industrialization development as a crucial step in enabling the economic transformation envisioned over the next 20 years. AGI development can achieve multiple positive development outcomes and is a natural extension of Uganda’s current competitiveness in agricultural production. The current National Development Plan contains a number of programs and initiatives at various levels of national and local government that collectively make a broader AGI agenda. One of the most notable programs is the construction of 25 publicly funded but privately run agro-industrial parks across the country over the next 5 years. Within this context, USAID/Uganda asked the Market Systems and Partnerships (MSP) Activity, supported by its partner ISF Advisors, to conduct a landscape assessment to identify opportunities for donor engagement in agro-industrialization, with a specific focus the agro-industrial parks program.
The final report provides an overview of the GoU’s AGI program, with a focus on the institutional framework and key actors. A full understanding of this wide-ranging and ambitious program is crucial in order to properly assess the optimal levers a donor can target for support. The assessment found that AGI is a viable development approach for Uganda and that key public and private stakeholders are aligned and bought-in on its importance. The study then goes into detail on the current status of the AGI park implementation strategy. This faces key implementation constraints such as broader policy-level issues, on-the-ground implementation challenges, and an overall lack of an effective coordinating mechanism.
Donors have a number of opportunities to support the GoU in addressing the challenges and constraints faced by the AGI agenda. The landscape assessment highlights the primary opportunity of a donor to empower a GoU entity in becoming the key implementing actor for the AGI program. This approach addresses the primary drivers of constraints within the AGI program based on direct GoU feedback as well as external assessment. The support could focus on two synergistic and concurrent areas: i) supporting a GoU partner to facilitate coordination across the GoU to effectively advance the AGI agenda and ii) supporting the partner in developing a commercially-viable AGI park that provides a model for the future development processes (ideally driven by Public-Private partnerships).
The assessment was conducted between September 2021 and June 2022. It leveraged an extensive literature review, 30+ primary interviews with stakeholders from the GoU, local authorities, private sector, and external consultants as well as site visits to AGI parks across the country. ISF Advisors conducted in-person interviews with key GoU officials and site visits in March 2022.
MSP is advancing learning and good practice in market systems development and private sector engagement within USAID, USAID partners and market actors. For more information, access to technical resources and opportunities to engage, visit www.agrilinks.org/msp.