MAAIF PRESENTATION DURING THE NATIONAL INCEPTION MEETING ON FOSTERING EQUITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY IN THE TRADE SYSTEM (FEATS) PROJECT. 15TH OCTOBER 2008 Hotel Africana Kampala - Uganda
THE ROLE OF THE MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE, ANIMAL INDUSTRY & FISHERIES IN THE TRADE POLICY MAKING PROCESS BY CONNIE ACAYO PRICIPAL INFORMATION SCIENTIST/MAAIF
The Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries
to support the national development goal of poverty eradication, by providing an enabling environment in which a profitable, competitive, dynamic and sustainable agricultural and agro-industrial sector, can develop;
to support, promote and guide the production of crops; livestock and fish, in order to ensure improved quality and increased quantity of agricultural produce and products for local consumption, food security and export
to support national efforts to transform subsistence agriculture to commercial production in crops, fisheries and livestock, by ensuring that the agricultural sector institutions provide efficient and effective demand-driven services to the farming community.
The Sector in the context of PMA includes:
increase incomes and improve the quality of life of poor subsistence farmers through increased productivity and value addition, and an increased share of marketed production;
improve household food security through the market rather than emphasizing self-sufficiency;
provide gainful employment through secondary benefits arising from the implementation of the PMA, such as agro-processing and the provision of services to both forward and backward linkage industries;
promote the sustainable use and management of natural resources by developing land-use and management policies and systems, and by promoting environmentally-friendly technologies.
MAAIF has other specific objectives
generating and disseminating market responsive, client oriented and demand driven national agricultural research system, comprising public and private institutions working in tandem for the sustainable economic growth of Uganda;
providing a decentralized, farmer-driven, private sector serviced, agricultural advisory service;
promoting the utilization of water for increased and sustainable commercial agricultural production;
other specific objectives
establishing sustainable agricultural sector development institutions, working in partnership with a decentralized and liberalized framework; developing supportive policies and regulations, set standards and provide enforcement mechanisms for the proper functioning of the agricultural and agro-industrial sectors;
ensuring poverty focus prioritisation and effective performance of public agricultural development programmes through strategic planning, capacity building, monitoring and well functioning inspection services;
Other specific objectives
put in place viable sustainable measures and mechanisms for epidemic disease and pest control;
promote profitable and sustainable agro-forestry, integrated in the agricultural and non-agricultural sectors;
promoting environmentally-sustainable agricultural practices; supporting the development and establishment of a decentralised, flexible market information system bringing on board all the main stakeholders;
providing appropriate infrastructure to facilitate developments in the sector;
to support the production and addition of value to strategic agricultural commodities, so as to enhance earnings and employment.
Dominated by subsistence farmers and food crops which provides the bulk of the raw materials for the largely agri-based industrial sector.
Coffee still dominates agriculture; it affects the livelihood of a huge portion of the population,
Cotton is the next most important cash crop and offers significant potential.
The third significant export is fish and fish products.
However, the recent growth in exports of fruit, vegetables and flowers is attributable to agricultural reforms, which includes diversification of agricultural exports toward non-traditional crops.
The Trade Policy Making Process
While MTTI is responsible for trade policy formulation and implementation, MAAIF on the other side has to ensure the support, promotion and guidance of the production of crops; livestock and fish, in order to ensure improved quality and increased quantity of agricultural produce and products for local consumption, food security and export.
Agriculture & Trade
Employs about 80% of the population,
Accounts for almost 40% of GDP
Generates about ½ of the gross national product
Its value of exports is over 75%
Trade is mainly on agricultural produced:
traditional export crops (coffee, cotton, tea, tobacco) contributed about 40% of the country’s total merchandise exports
non-traditional crops (fish and cut flowers) about 21% .
Trade formulation & MAAIF
To what extent has MAAIF been consulted?
One staff member (Assistant Commissioner from Planning Department) sitting in the Institutional Committee of trade,
Previously there used to be three (commissioner Fisheries, commissioner Agricultural Planning and Assistant Commissioner Agro-processing also from planning department)
Other members are from related institutions and ministries, like Finance and private sector
The consultation is majorly done before and during the policy making process.
The policy drafts are then circulated to the different ministries and institutions for further comments (National Trade Policy being worked on).
Trade formulation & MAAIF
Other Ministries, particularly Finance and Agriculture are directly involved both in formulation and implementation of trade policy.
The Presidential Economic Policy Forum, together with other public institutions, carry out periodic reviews and assessments of trade-related policies within the Government institutions.
Session committees of the Parliament also review policies
there is supposed to be opportunities for periodic inputs from the private sector ( I hope this is really the case).
Trade formulation & MAAIF
Support by the Presidency also plays a vital role in policy-making; as a result some policies have been enacted by the Presidential fiat.
Sometimes lobbying for policies and changes in the policy making process especially in areas of VAT
Trade formulation & MAAIF
The government has therefore put in place the Investment Authority (UIA) which is intended to promote and facilitate investment in the country:
To improve liberalization of the economy.
To attract more foreign investors.
Trade formulation & MAAIF
Uganda is an original Member of the WTO, and grants at least MFN treatment to all its trading partners.
Uganda is not a signatory of any of the plurilateral trade agreements.
Uganda has benefited from regular WTO technical assistance, under the Joint Integrated Technical Assistance Programme and the Integrated Framework.
Several meetings have taken place with donors since 1996 to assess Uganda's trade-related technical assistance needs, which can be classified into two categories:
adoption of laws and regulations relating to the WTO and regional trade agreements; and
the needs relating to supply-side constraints.
TRADE POLICIES IN UGANDA
Trade policies in Uganda is aimed at promoting economic growth and development through diversification of the export sector, attracting investment, improving productivity, enhancing export and local trade and is designed within the context of the overall national economic policy objective.
TP formulation is achieved through a consultative process between Government and the private sector.
The lead agency for the formulation is the Ministry mandated, that is, the Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Industry (MTTI).
The implementation of trade policy is however the preserve of public bodies depending on the nature of the measure or policy to be implemented.
Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Industry
The Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Industry is mandated to handle Trade issues through the development, promotion and facilitation of both the internal and external trade with particular emphasis on export promotion and diversification.
Involvement of MAAIF in developing position for WTO & EPA Negotiations
Ministerial level: inter-ministerial committees of all WTO member countries
Technical level: Planning department
Ongoing EPA (a workshop on awareness creation of stakeholders about issues related to both EPAs and the WTO was held in Jinja)
MAAIF has been contacted and a committee is been instituted to put in place design the ToR (Policy, Crop, L/stock). Details yet to be discussed.
MAAIF’s Comments & views on Trade Policy
Not for to MTTI,
In-cooperated within the related policies of the ministry such as:
Fish, Coffee, Cotton, Seed and L/stock related
Agricultural policies are geared towards agricultural production and Marketing which to some extent includes trade
Uganda is slowly mainstreaming trade into its development framework.
However, its various institutions dealing with trade policy, including the MTTI, do not have sufficient capacity to manage trade arrangements effectively and to fully implement the necessary reforms.
At the same time, at least partially due to the Government's fragmented institutional structure dealing with trade matters, coordination among development partners is less than ideal.
The MAAIF has only one person sitting in the committee of trade, when it contributes biggest to trade produce. This the ministry feels there is need to change, at least to include a representative from each agricultural sub-sector; crop, livestock and fish, as well as from planning and Policy departments. These issues have now come up as I have been made to understand.
Representation of one or three persons in the committee is not enough, the MAAIF also need to get more involve by strongly involving its TPM members in detail trade discussions.
The Uganda Manufacturing Association is a distant third. Individual and state firms as well as Trade unions have little input in trade policy making process
However, at the level of implementation, the direst problem is corruption followed by lack of resources, poor incentives, overlapping responsibilities of ministries non-commitment of the bureaucracy, frustration of implementation by disgruntled interest groups, and lack of staff training.
Policy-makers recognize that the private sector has a vital role to play in the policy-making process provided that its potential is enhanced through training and practical experience.