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Input and output production and marketing

Why Oilseed


Uganda’s consumption of edible fats and oils is dominated by vegetable oil and its income elasticity of demand is high. However the domestic production of vegetable oils cannot meet the national demand, hence making Uganda heavily reliant on the importation of vegetable oil (up to 60% of the market supply). Although Uganda had a consumption demand of over 216,000 metric tons of edible oil in 2015, national production stood at 87,000 metric tons, which resulted into the importation of up to 129,000 metric tons and which in turn led to loss of foreign exchange.


Since its inception 1994, UOSPA has been coordinating and promoting production, processing and marketing of oilseed crops (sunflower, soyabean and simsim) with overall objective of contributing to poverty alleviation by improving food security, nutrition and income of rural households in the project districts. It is currently operating in 20 districts distributed in Bugishu, Teso, Lang and Acholi sub-regions. The district are; Sironko, Mbale, Bulambuli, Bukedea, Kumi, Serere, Soroti and Amuria in Eastern Uganda and Lira, Apac, Dokolo, Aleptong, Kole, Otuke, Amolatar, Oyam, Nwoya, Amuru, Omoro,and Gulu in Northern Uganda.


The Vegetable oilseed sector is one of the commodities earmarked by Government of Uganda as strategic commodity that has the potential for import substitution and the country’s industrial growth (VOPD2, 2011). The sub-sector is a main source of livelihood for over 480,000 of Northern and Easten Uganda. The North and Eastern Uganda accounts for over 70% of the production and through zoning program, the region has the highest geographical comparative advantage for oilseed crops production (VODP, 2006). Emphasis on the sub sector as a trigger of development is focused on market and particular attention to rural smallholder farmers (PMA, 2000). Since 1995, several interventions have been carried by UOSPA. This led to increased oilseed production thus attracting various stakeholders; public agencies and private investors, farmers and traders in the sub-sector.


UOSPA contribution has resulted into annual sector growth of 3% and a reduction in the importation of edible vegetable oil from 95% in 1995 to 45% and increased to export to regional market from 5% to 12% in 2010, (SITA survey report, and 2015). This growth is as result of formation of farmers’ organization, provision of technical knowledge to members, improvement of the available planting seeds through multiplication and distribution, increase of processing capacity, training and building the capacity of farmers to bargain for better prices, improve nutrition status of farmers’ household and collectively save money for re-investment in oilseed activities


A number of income generating activities have cropped up alongside oilseed crop production and processing, for example apiary, production of animal feeds from oilseed cakes, farmer groups soap making from sunflower and Shea-nuts oils, auxiliary support services and small kiosks that buy and resale oil (VODP, 2007; FAO 2007; UOSPA, 2006). This has led to diversification of enterprise hence spreading of risk in oilseed farming. The number of traders engaged in buying and selling edible vegetable oils (especially sunflower oil) has increased. Further, the growing of oil crops has increasingly become a main source of income to household in Northern Uganda.