Impact Evaluation and Returns to Investment of the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) Program of Uganda

Uganda has for a long period of time experienced strong economic growth. In the 1990s, gross domestic product grew steadily by more than 6% per annum from a low rate of 3 percent in the 1980s, and the proportion of the population living under the poverty line declined from 56.4 percent in 1992 to 31.1 percent in 2006. This remarkable turnaround from the depression associated with the political turmoil and economic mismanagement of the 1970‘s until the mid-1980s has been achieved through sound policies linked to investments and economic liberalization undertaken by the Government of Uganda (GOU) with support from the donor community. Despite the substantial progress made, several challenges remain in sustaining the momentum by way of increasing productivity, ensuring sustainable use of natural resources, and reducing poverty, hunger and human disease. Recognizing the importance of a multi-sectoral approach to accelerating growth and reducing mass poverty, the Government of Uganda has since 2000 been implementing the Plan for Modernization of Agriculture (PMA) as a key policy initiative aimed at reducing mass poverty to a level below 28 percent by 2014. The PMA, which is situated within the country‘s vision of Prosperity for All and is supported by the broader Rural Development Strategy, has an ambitious agenda of policy and institutional reform across seven pillars, a key one of which is improving delivery of agricultural extension through the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) program. Since its inception in 2001, NAADS has devised an innovative extension service delivery approach, that targets the development and use of farmer institutions and in the process empowers them to procure advisory services, manage linkage with marketing partners and conduct demand-driven monitoring and evaluation of the advisory services and their impacts. NAADS was initiated in 2001 in six districts (Arua, Kabale, Kibaale, Mukono, Soroti and Tororo), within which the NAADS program began working in 24 sub-counties. By end of 2006/07 financial year, the program had been extended to 545 sub-counties (about 83.1 percent of the total sub-counties), and is expected to cover the entire country by end of the financial year 2007/08, ending the first phase (Phase I) of the program. By the end of the 2006/07 financial year also, UGX 110 billion (in 2000 value terms) had been spent on the program.
Benin, S., Nkonya, E., Okecho, G., Randriamamonjy, J., Kato, E., Lubade, G., ... & Byekwaso, F. (2008). Impact evaluation and returns to investment of the national agricultural advisory services (NAADS) program of Uganda. Washington, DC: International Food Policy Research Institute.