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November 10, 2011

Uganda: Rice production, exports increase

Rice has become Uganda’s biggest income earner topping traditional food crops, according to a survey released by ministry of Agriculture.

The survey released indicated that the production of rice in Uganda had increased by 23per cent in 2010, compared to 9 per cent for bananas, 5 per cent for cassava and 4 per cent for beans.

Although the survey does not list percentage growth in cash crops, Mr Tress Buchanayandi, the minister of Agriculture, said, “Uganda has increased rice production from 120,000 metric tonnes in 2002 to 200,000 in 2010 saving the country about Shs120 billion ($ 50 million) annually in rice imports.”

According to data as the ministry of Agriculture, Uganda exports between 40,000 to 50,000 metric tonnes of rice to South Sudan, DR Congo, Kenya and some Asian countries.

Mr Buchanayandi, however, said the growing of rice had been hampered by ecological requirements but the introduction of the Nerica rice species that grows even in humid environments had boosted the crops growth.


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