Agriculture posts better growth than other sectors

Thursday October 29 2020

Supervision. Farmers check their cabbages at Owameri Small Scale Irrigation scheme, Aloi Sub-county in Alebtong District on March 29. PHOTO | BILL OKETCH


Agriculture posted the best performance in the 2019/20 financial year amid a slowdown in the general performance of the economy, according to Uganda Bureau of Statistics (Ubos).  Data from Ubos indicates agriculture together with forestry and fishing performed better than any other sector, posting growth of 4.8 per cent during the 2019/20 financial year. 
However, this was lower than the 5.4 per cent that the three sectors posted in the 2018/19 financial year.
In terms of specifics, Dr Chris N Mukiza, the Ubos executive director, said, agriculture grew by 4.5 per cent from 1.5 per cent largely due to good returns in the food crops sector supported by livestock, which grew by 7.9 per cent from 7.3 per cent in 2018/19 financial year. 
However, he said fishing registered slower growth of 1.9 per cent in 2019/20 compared to 41.4 per cent recorded, which Ubos said could have been due to closure of some fish factories due to  Covid-19-related lockdown. 
The industry sector, Dr Mukiza said slowed to 2.2 per cent during the year compared to 10.1 per cent in the 2018/19 financial year. 
Under this category, manufacturing slowed to 1.3 per cent from 7.8 per cent while mining and quarry declined to 0.2 per cent from 33.4 per cent. 
Construction slowed to 3.8 per cent from 14.2 per cent in the 2018/19 financial year.
The services sector, which includes information and communication, public administration and technical services registered growth in some segments but experienced a general decline, falling to 2.9 per cent from 5.7 per cent. 
Under this category, Dr Mukiza said, information and communication grew by 21.9 per cent compared to a decline of 0.6 per cent while public administration grew by 16.2 per cent in from 3.2 per cent. Professional, scientific and technical activities grew by 4.9 per cent compared to 2.9 per cent.
However, the growth was undermined by the poor performance in trade and repairs, which declined to - 0.4 per cent compared to 4.9 per cent. 
Transport and storage declined by 1.3 per cent while accommodation and food service fell by 8.5 per cent from 3 per cent.  Arts, entertainment and recreation declined by 8.7 per cent from 21.2 per cent in the period while taxes on products declined by 1.3 per cent from 5.8 per cent. 

General performance    
The general decline of different sectors slowed economic growth to 2.9 per cent compared to the 6.8 per cent that government had earlier projected. 
Government had, during the National Budget reading, projected economic growth to slow down to 3.1 per cent, but the decline was much lower than anticipated. 
However, during the period, Ubos indicated, the size of the economy in nominal terms increased to Shs138.841 trillion from Shs131.406 trillion in the 2018/19 financial year. 
Ubos data indicates that during the 2019/20 financial year, all the sectors of the economy performed much slower than the previous financial year, largely due to reduced national and global activities curtailed by Covid-19.