Export Impact For Good

Countries / Territories

Country Profile Uganda



    Uganda is a landlocked country on the equator in East Africa. It is bordered by Kenya to the east; Sudan to the north; Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west; and Rwanda, Tanzania, and Lake Victoria to the south. The country has a total area of 241,038 km2 measuring 625 km east to west and 638 km north to south. Although generally tropical in nature, the climate differs between parts of the country. However all regions, except for the northeastern border area and small areas in the southwest, usually receive sufficient rain to permit crops to grow once or even twice a year.

    Agricultural sector

    Fertile soils and regular rainfalls are Uganda's most important natural resources. Agriculture forms the heart of its economy, accounting for 45 % of GDP and employing over 80 % of the work force, with coffee accounting for the bulk of export revenues (IFOAM 2003). Besides plantains, which dominate Uganda's internal market, cassava, sweet potatoes, dry beans and maize are among the country's major crops (FAO, 14.07.2006). In general, most farms are small-scale.

    Overview of organic farming

    Uganda has the most developed sector of certified organic production in Africa. About 33,900 farmers manage 122,000 hectares of land using organic methods, an area that accounts for 1% of Uganda's arable land (IFOAM & FiBL, 2006). Although still small and far below the increasing global demand, the country's export of organic agricultural produce has been growing substantially in recent years. In Uganda, which has one of the lowest agro-chemical usages in Africa, the majority of farmers practice de facto organic agriculture without being certified yet (ACODE, 2006). Since no significant domestic market exists, certified organic agriculture targets mainly export markets in Europe and North America.

    Key organic products

    Major organic export products include coffee, cotton, dried bananas, paw paws, pineapples, passion fruits, chillies, ginger and sesame. While traditional cash crops remain the backbone of certified organic exports from Uganda, two sectors of particular focus in recent years have been fresh and dried fruits and vegetables, and - most recently - vanilla (Gibbons, 2006). The exceptionally high growth rates in some markets reflect a combination of factors including growing awareness of opportunities in the sector and the availability of donor support, especially for certification.

    The network

    The two key organisations making up Uganda's wider institutional environment for organic farming are the National Organic Agricultural Movement of Uganda (NOGAMU) and the national certification and inspection body, UgoCert. NOGAMU was set up in 2001 as a membership organisation, which unites farmers, producers, exporters and other stakeholders in the promotion of organic agriculture. It represents over 35,000 farmers and works with partner organisations throughout the country.

    NOGAMU is also the owner of UgoCert, whose formation has mitigated the impact of the worldwide rise in organic certification costs by providing local inspectors for some international certification bodies.

    The National Organic Agriculture Movement of Uganda (NOGAMU)
    P.O. Box 70071, Clock Tower
    Tel.: + 256 41 269415 / + 256 31 264039
    Fax: + 256 31-264040
    Email: admin@nogamu.org.ug
    Website: www.nogamu.org 

    External Support

    The Uganda organic agriculture sector has been receiving support from the following external organisations amongst others:

    Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment (ACODE)
    Centre for the Promotion of Imports from Developing Countries (CBI)
    Export Promotion of Organic Production in Africa (EPOPA)
    International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movement (IFOAM)
    International Trade Centre (ITC)
    Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) 


    • ACODE (2006): The Status of Organic Agriculture Production in Uganda. Advocates Coalition for Development Environment (ACODE), Kampala.
    • DIIS (2006): An Overview of the Certified Organic Export Sector in Uganda. DIIS Working Paper no 2006/13. Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS), Copenhagen.
    • IFOAM & FiBL (2006): The World of Organic Agriculture. Statistics and Emerging Trends 2006. International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), Bonn & Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL, Frick, pp. 27-35.
    • IFOAM (2003): Organic and Like-Minded Movements in Africa. International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), Bonn, pp.102-108.
    • FAO, 14.07.2006: Key Statistics of Food and Agriculture External Trade. Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Statistics Division. URL: www.fao.org/es/ess/toptrade/trade.asp?dir=exp&country=3&ryear=2004 and www.fao.org/es/ess/top/country.html?lang=en