Uganda’s Prime Minister Markets Country’s Tourism, Agriculture Potential In Rome

Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja has told a summit in Rome that Uganda’s tourism potential is one of the best in the world.

Nabbanja who addressed the European Corporate Council on Africa and the Middle East Annual Summit at The St. Regis Hotel in Rome on July 24 also said Uganda has fertile arable land and a good climate to support commercial agriculture.

“She said the country can produce and export more products to many parts of the world. She mentioned three factors hindering this; protectionism, environmental degradation leading to climate change and economic sanctions by the West,” the Prime Minister’s office said.

The summit was held under the theme: Feeding a Planet of Prosperity.

Earlier the Prime Minister said: “In my address, I gave a brief historical account of Uganda and Africa in general as well our country’s potential to feed many parts of the world. I also used this opportunity to market our country as a top tourism destination, showcasing our fauna and flora.”

While in Rome, Nabbanja also met the Pope whom she thanked for advocating for vaccines for poor countries.

“I thank you for your exemplary leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic and for advocating for vaccine sharing so that we could recover from this pandemic together. You were a source of hope during that period of great global challenge,” Nabbanja told the Pope.

“I thank you for being a strong advocate of justice, equality, peace, love and reconciliation around the world. I also thank you for appreciating and encouraging the world to recognise the crucial role women play in society and the Church,” she added.

Uganda’s agricultural potential

Available information indicates that most investors consider Uganda’s agricultural potential to be among the best in Africa, “with low temperature variability, fertile soils, and two rainy seasons over much of the country – leading to multiple crop harvests per year.”

UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization says: “Uganda’s fertile agricultural land has the potential to feed 200 million people.  Eighty percent of Uganda’s land is arable but only 35% is being cultivated. In FY 2021/22, agriculture accounted for about 24.1% of GDP, and 33% of export earnings.”

Uganda produces a wide range of agricultural products including; coffee, tea, sugar, livestock, fish, edible oils, cotton, tobacco, plantains, corn, beans, cassava, sweet potatoes, millet, sorghum, and groundnuts. 

UN also says there are “significant investment opportunities in Uganda’s agriculture sector, including in production, input supply, value addition processing, standards compliance and export, and post-harvest handling.”

“In the coffee sector, there is space to increase coffee production and the amount of coffee exported to the United States.  Uganda is Africa’s leading coffee exporter and second largest producer but sends just 5.7% of its exports to the United States,” the global body says.

The Uganda Coffee Development Authority reported total exports of 6.75 million, 60kg bags valued at $719 million in 2021, up from 5.48 million 60kg bags valued at $520 million in 2020. 

“The government has developed an ambitious, yet detailed, plan to increase its current production of 402,000 tons of coffee to 1.2 million tons annually by 2025,” the coffee body said.

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