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Home News MAAIF, FAO Join Hands To Develop Strategy To Stimulate Cocoa Production

MAAIF, FAO Join Hands To Develop Strategy To Stimulate Cocoa Production

by Jacquiline Nakandi
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By Prossy Nandudu

The Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries with support from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) have embarked on the development of a Cocoa Climate Change Strategy.

The strategy aims to guide farmers on cocoa production amidst the changing climate.

While launching the strategy last week at Fairway Hotel, the FAO country representative Antonio Querida said Cocoa production is one of the sectors prioritised under Uganda’s Vision 2040 and the National Development Plan 3 (NDP III).

“Our aim is not just growth, but a paradigm shift towards sustainable annual cocoa production of over 100,000 metric tons, involving up to 500,000 farmers by 2030, using climate-resilient agricultural practices,” said Querido.

He added that this will lead to economic prosperity as well as transform smallholder farmers still in subsistence agriculture.

Information from the Bank of Uganda shows that Cocoa is the 4th leading export earner and that in the financial year is expected to rise to 47,000 metric tons in the financial year 2023/2024 season.

Despite the potential, the sector lacks a strategy and policy framework for the proper regulation of the sector, which is faced with challenges such as the effects of the changing weather, poor agronomic practices, and lack of quality seed suppliers among others.

Querido, however, noted that developing a climate-resilient cocoa value chain strategy is a multifaceted task that requires time, resources, and careful planning through a strategic framework.

“Therefore, developing a strategic framework will guide in setting goals and objectives, determining strategic actions to achieve the goals, and mobilizing resources to execute the actions,” he added.

Once developed, the strategic framework will include the methods, tools, and processes used to create and implement the strategy and set the direction for interventions and for the development of action plans needed to develop the sector, he added.

Currently, Uganda is ranked number is 5th in Africa and 12th in the World in cocoa production although its exports reduced in the 2022/2023 season due to various factors including the effects of climate change, and poor quality seed among others.

However, the report adds that there is a growing demand for cocoa products driven by the increasing health and wellness awareness about the benefits of cocoa, the growing number of socially conscious consumers, the popularity of chocolate confections, and the demand for dark chocolate among others.

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