World Bank approves US$30 million for cassava improvement in Uganda
WASHINGTON, D.C., November 17, 2009 -- The World Bank Board of Executive Directors has approved a $30 million International Development Association (IDA) credit* to strengthen agricultural productivity and growth in Uganda, with a special focus in researching and improving the cassava crop.
Uganda is the fourth country after Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania to receive support under the first phase of the Eastern Africa Agricultural Productivity Program (EAAPP). Earlier in June, the World Bank approved US$90 million for the four countries to scale up regional cooperation in generation of technology, training, and dissemination programs for regional priority commodities.
"Agriculture accounts for 25 percent of the gross domestic product in Uganda and remains the backbone for manufacturing and export growth, providing income and employment to over 70 percent of the population. It is therefore important to improve the agricultural technology systems in order to deliver benefits to food security in the short run and also boost longer term economic growth," said Kundhavi Kadiresan, World Bank Country Manager for Uganda.
Under the EAAPP, a Regional Centre of Excellence for cassava will be established at Uganda's Namulonge Research Institute, with similar efforts in the other countries focusing on rice, wheat, and dairy as priority commodities identified by the Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA).
"Together with Tanzania, Ethiopia and Kenya, and with the facilitation of ASARECA, Uganda will develop and lead joint programs geared toward improving the productivity and profitability of cassava production and processing," said John Murray McIntire, World Bank Country Director for Uganda, Tanzania and Burundi.
This project will complement agricultural investment programs that are being implemented in Uganda and supported by IDA and other Development Partners to achieve greater food security through increased agricultural productivity and farm incomes.
For more information about World Bank's activities in Uganda visit: http://www.worldbank.org/uganda
For more information on the World Bank's work in sub-Saharan Africa visit: http://www.worldbank.org/afr
*The credit is provided on standard International Development Association (IDA) terms, with a commitment fee of 0.5 percent, a service charge of 0.75 percent over a 40 year period of maturity which includes a 10-year grace period.
In Kampala: Steven Shalita
In Washington: Herbert Boh