What you need to know:
- USAID says supporting agriculture is pivotal, thus government must find ways to expand private sector investments for sustainable growth
USAID has said government must support high value agriculture by investing in improved inputs such as seeds and farm implements.
In a presentation during the Sustainable Pathways to Growth and Economic Development in Karamoja learning event, Mr Richard Nelson, the USAID Uganda Mission director, said supporting agriculture is pivotal, noting that there was need to find ways to expand private sector investments in the region to create sustainable growth.
“We all know that companies that invest there are much more likely to remain in the communities long after development partners have left, creating jobs and providing community level economic stimulus,” he said, stressing the need to attract new investors from the private sector, not only in Karamoja but the country as a whole.
The meeting also discussed how supporting climate-smart livelihood opportunities, access to markets and services, improving natural resource management, water security, and good governance, coupled with early warning and shock response mechanisms would be key in reinforcing long-term agricultural growth, especially in places such as Karamoja.
Purposeful investment in both crop and livestock farming in Karamoja has been cited as key in turning around the fortune of the sub-region.
During the meeting, analysts said that a combination of livestock and crop farming, if properly executed, could open up Karamoja as a trade hub and an economic beehive of a place.
The Karamoja sub-region covers the districts of Kotido, Kaabong, Karenga, Nabilatuk, Abim, Moroto, Napak, Amudat and Nakapiripirit, with an estimated population of 1.4 million people, according to 2022 UBOS report.