This ISSD Uganda review charts the evolution of the seed policy in Uganda and its implications on both the availability of varieties and the use of quality seed.

Key messages:

• Timely and affordable access to improved varieties and quality seed is essential for productive and remunerative farming.
• Improved varieties embody specific traits like yield, disease and pest resistance, and resilience to climate change factors such as drought.
• However, institutional and market constraints tend to limit farmers’ access to quality seed and improved traits, thus limiting opportunities to improve yield, output and revenue that are hallmark of a vibrant agriculture sector.
• Many national governments and development organisations express impatience with the slow pace at which national seed sectors are contributing to productivity growth.
• Uganda is a standout on this issue for the wide range of policy innovations, regulatory reforms, and market experiments being pursued in recent years, and for the extensive documentation and analysis of its experience to date.
• This paper reviews the changing landscape of Uganda’s seed sector and the recent policy, regulatory, and institutional changes.
• This analysis that while the combination of market innovations and a dramatic policy shift in 2018 may have opened new space for seed sector development, many of the political economy issues affecting the market remain unattended.
• The potential gains from this policy shift may remain unrealized unless sufficient attention is given to these political economy issues, ultimately affecting agricultural productivity
growth and broader development outcomes.

Photo: East-West Seed, Uganda