The agriculture sector is the backbone of Uganda’s economy and supports more than half of the country’s population. Strengthening this industry will increase household income and contribute to poverty reduction initiatives in Uganda. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) selected Tetra Tech to implement the Uganda Livelihoods and Enterprises for Agricultural Development (LEAD) project, with the goal of transforming Uganda’s agricultural economy.

The LEAD program evaluated the entire value chain of the Ugandan agricultural industry, from producers through processors to traders. Tetra Tech used a market-led value chain  approach to strengthen the production and sale of target commodities—such as coffee, fish, rice and maize—and increase transactions related to those commodities. Our team improved input distribution, as well as the quality of and access to financial services. By strengthening producer organizations, the program helped to develop competitive agricultural and rural enterprises.  Our team also made recommendations to encourage the sustainable transfer of knowledge and technologies between agricultural stakeholders.

LEAD’s strategy for increasing rural economic growth focused on three program areas which were increasing productivity, enhancing competitiveness, and strengthening trade capacity.

The Tetra Tech team employed USAID’s Collaborating, Learning & Adapting approach to implementing the LEAD project. This approach provides flexibility to change the direction of program activities based on consistent feedback from the field. By monitoring the success of early program activities, subsequent activities can be altered as needed to achieve greater impact. The LEAD performance monitoring plan incorporated feedback mechanisms to allow for dissemination of early results. Sharing the successes and lessons learned in these early activities helped ensure the smart implementation of remaining portions of the program.

The LEAD program produced rapid, visible, and sustainable results that increased incomes and reduced poverty among program participants. The costs of agricultural inputs were reduced, efficiencies were improved, productivity increased, and technologies were enhanced all along the value chain. Producer organizations successfully established more efficient trade linkages to support ongoing investment and increased sales.