The country’s rich agro-ecological diversity, enables farmers to grow a wide variety of crops such as sorghum, millet, maize, cassava, beans, sweet potatoes, bananas, vegetables among others. These crops not only play a crucial role in ensuring food security for the local population and the refugees inclusive, but also contribute significantly to livelihoods.

However, despite the importance of agriculture in the country, there are growing concerns about the sustainability of current farming practices, particularly in relation to soil health. The indiscriminate use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, coupled with poor land management practices, has led to soil degradation and reduced crop yields in most parts of the country. This raises questions about the long-term viability of agriculture in the country and its ability to support the growing population.

Policies for Promoting Soil Health

In response to these challenges, various policies have been put in place at the national and regional levels to promote sustainable agriculture and improve soil health in the country. The African Union’s Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) (2003) is one such initiative that emphasizes the importance of sustainable agriculture in ensuring food security and reducing poverty in Africa (see , 2015-2018 & 2023 Reviews and Frameworks). Under CAADP, member countries are required to develop National Agricultural Investment Plans (NAIPs) that prioritize investments in sustainable agriculture practices, including soil conservation and integrated soil fertility management.

Uganda Government has implemented several policies and programs to promote sustainable agriculture and improve soil health. The National Agricultural Policy (NAP) (Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, 2013) and the National Adaptation Plan for Agricultural Sector (Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, 2018) both highlight the importance of sustainable land management practices, including crop rotation, agroforestry, and the use of organic fertilizers. These policies aim to increase agricultural productivity, enhance food security, and promote environmental sustainability in Uganda.

The Government has implemented his regional national agricultural policies to address the specific challenges faced by farmers in the districts. These policies include the promotion of indigenous crop varieties, the adoption of conservation agriculture practices, and the establishment of farmer field schools to provide training on sustainable farming techniques. By prioritizing indigenous knowledge and traditional crop management systems, these policies aim to enhance soil health and promote food security across the country.

The Uganda national policies for ensuring sustainable food basket and promotion of friendly agro-ecological farming practices fall within the 2024 Nairobi Declaration on “Africa fertilizer and Soil Health Summit” (African Union 2024). Thus Uganda emerges as an example of “building soil health and regenerating degraded soil critical for sustainable food system transformation” (AU, 2024) in the African Continent. Despite these Government efforts as well as those of the citizens and that of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) on the promotion of indigenous crops and soil health management for sustainable agriculture, there is still a lot that needs to be done.

Challenges and Recommendations

Notwithstanding the positive efforts by the Government in the promotion sustainable agriculture, there are still challenges that need to be addressed. These include limited access to agricultural inputs and extension services, inadequate infrastructure, and the impact of climate change on crop production. To address these challenges, it is essential to increase investments in agricultural research and extension services, improve access to credit for smallholder farmers, and promote traditional and innovative climate-resilient farming practices.

Furthermore, there is a need to strengthen collaboration between different stakeholders, including government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and community-based organizations, to promote integrated solutions for sustainable agriculture in Uganda. By working together and sharing knowledge and resources, it is possible to develop holistic strategies that address the complex challenges faced by farmers in the country.


Promoting indigenous crop management, improving soil health, and enhancing food security are critical elements of sustainable agriculture in Uganda. By implementing policies that prioritize soil conservation, promote traditional crop management systems, and address the specific challenges faced by farmers in the country, it is possible to build a more resilient and sustainable agriculture sector that can support the livelihoods of the local population for generations to come.


African union (2003). The Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP): Sustainable Land and Water Management.

African Union (2018). CAADP Biennial Review Report 2018-2018.

African Union (2023). 4th CAADP Biennial Review Report 2015-2023.

African Union (2024). Africa Fertilizer and Soil Health Summit 7th – 9th May 2024 Nairobi, Kenya.

Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (2013). National Agricultural Policy.

Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (2018). National Adaptation Plan for Agricultural Sector.


Draft Paper prepared by

Rodgers Mwansa

Coordinator for Projects, Research, Policy, and Advocacy Programs

Missionaries of Africa – Refugee Project, Uganda


Alfred Avuni

Executive Director

John Paul II Center for Justice and Peace, Kampala


Robert Ubemu

Coordinator for Justice, Peace, Integrity of Creation, Encounter and Dialogue

Missionaries of Africa, Eastern Africa Province