Tetra Tech supported increased, responsible use of agricultural inputs to improve productivity and promote economic growth in Uganda.

Agriculture is the mainstay of the Ugandan economy, providing 14 percent of gross domestic product; 85 percent of total export earning; 73 percent of total employment; and the bulk of the raw materials used by the predominantly agriculture-based industrial sector. The agricultural sector employs more than 89 percent of the country’s labor force and provides the main income source for more than 60 percent of poor households. Average yields have been stagnant or dropped over the last decade due to the changing climate, increasing population pressure, and decreasing soil fertility.

The Feed the Future Uganda Agricultural Inputs Activity in Uganda, which is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), focused on increasing the production of maize, beans, and coffee through the appropriate use of high-quality agricultural inputs and decreasing the prevalence of counterfeit agricultural inputs, like mislabeled seeds or diluted fertilizers, in the market. To achieve these objectives, Tetra Tech worked with agricultural-input wholesalers and retailers in target districts to strengthen their capacity to provide high-quality agricultural inputs such as fertilizers, agro-chemicals, and equipment to farmers.

To promote the project’s sustainability, Tetra Tech used an innovative market facilitation approach, empowering local actors to serve as role models in the agriculture industry and act as champions of best practices for the way agricultural inputs are bought and sold. We worked with businesses in the agricultural inputs supply chain to shift behaviors and performance from traditional, price- and product-focused trading practices towards customer-centric business strategies that solve farmers’ problems. The Agricultural Inputs Activity worked in eight key areas: anti-counterfeit, e-verification, seed quality, finance, distribution, professionalization of spray services, compliance, and climate-smart farming.

To complement our market facilitation approach, Tetra Tech developed an innovative monitoring and evaluation system that was designed to measure systemic change in the agricultural inputs market that could affect program strategies and tactics. Using a combination of surveys and Tetra Tech’s ePORT tool, our cloud-based monitoring and evaluation system, the team regularly tracked what was working and what was not, and adjusted project activities accordingly. This built-in learning process accelerated incorporation of new information and opportunities that led to improved project performance and results.

Tetra Tech worked with four strategic stakeholders and partners: agricultural input wholesalers, retailers, industry associations, and Ugandan government entities. Our team assisted wholesalers and retailers to strengthen relationships and modernize practices to increase service provision and profitability. We supported national-level industry associations such as the Uganda National Agro-dealers’ Association (UNADA), the Uganda Seed Trade Association (USTA), and CropLife Uganda to institutionalize the importance of high-quality inputs and efficient management systems with the ultimate goal of sustaining agricultural-inputs practices in the country’s agriculture sector. Our team also engaged local government agencies to improve their support of agricultural retailers.

During the 5-year project, Tetra Tech has worked with thousands of district-level agro-input firms in 25 Feed the Future focus districts and 10 adjacent market hubs, reaching approximately 32 percent of all districts in Uganda. Overall, the project has been successful in educating more than 20,000 individual Ugandan agricultural sector actors in anti-counterfeit, climate-smart, and efficient business management practices.