The PARM Team organised its first visit to the country in December 2014 to follow-up on the agricultural risk management process already started with FAO and NEPAD in 2013
The main purpose of the mission, which took place from 8 to 13 December 2014, was re-launching PARM activities in the country in order to include the agricultural risk management (ARM) initiatives in the new Agricultural Sector Strategic Plan (ASSP) that need to be approved in 2015 for the period 2016-20.
The PARM Team was received by the Permanent Secretary V. R. Rubarema of the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industries and Fisheries (MAIF) of Uganda, who expressed strong interest in using the PARM process to develop good specific initiatives to be included in the new Agricultural Sector Strategic Plan (ASSP) for Uganda.
He expressed interest on three potential issues:
- small irrigation systems
- market access
- information systems
The National Agricultural Risk Management Steering Committee (NSC) was also organised during the mission to re-launch its activities. The Committee comprises of about 15 members, mainly from different Government Ministries (Agriculture; Finance and Planning; Trade; Local Government; Gender and Labour) and other Government Departments: Office of the Prime Minister; National Planning Authority; Insurance Regulatory Authority. Other members include: Development partners, Uganda Farmer’s Federation, Uganda Cooperative Alliance (UCA) and Makerere University.
Two important outcomes resulted from the meeting: Agricultural Risk Management will be explicitly included in the first drafts of the overall National Investment Plan 2016-20 and the Agricultural Investment Plan.
In the debriefing with the National Agricultural Risk Management Steering Committee (chaired by the Ag. Director of MAAIF), PARM’s road map in Uganda was presented and its alignment with the Development Strategy and Investment Plan (DSIP-II) and National Development Investment Plan (NDIP) through the new ASSP 2016-2020 was considered a priority.
The mission also had a first exchange with different country stakeholders, such as the Lion Assurance of Kungula Agrinsurance Group, Makerere University and other development partners such as USAID and FAO to improve partnership and synergies to support PARM activities and share knowledge and expertise in the country.
The meeting with the Lion Assurance of Kungula Agrinsurance Group mainly focus in exploring the existing tools and related risks in the country. The Lion Assurance of Kungula Agrinsurance Group Lion as other 7 assurance members of Kungula Group focus their business mainly on livestock and crop insurances schemes for farmer associations and medium-big size farmers.
The two risks currently assured by Lion (exceeded rainfalls and droughts) are managed through weather satellite index insurance. Community based information systems (ex. rain data stations) and market price floatation monitoring system are considered additional instruments to be developed to make insurances also accessible for smallholders.
The PARM Team also had a meeting with Makerere University (College of Agricultural and Environment Sciences) focusing on the setting up activities to carry out part of the risk assessment study in the country. Complementarities and synergies between national and international experts and the option of integrating the expertise of Makerere with external support was discussed.
Meeting with other development organizations such as USAID and FAO gave the opportunity to share information and explore working synergies in Uganda, highlighting the lack of information data system and access to well develop market as potential risk management gaps of the agriculture sector in Uganda.