2 February 2023

Strengthening skills and training capacity in the horticulture sector in Uganda (OKP-UGA-10021)

This NUFFIC OKP projects aims at strengthening the skills to improve the horticultural situation in Uganda. This is mainly achieved via strengthening the educational situation at A-TVET level.

The project focuses on three main output areas: curriculum review and development, institutional capacity development at Kyambogo University (KYU) and Bukalasa Agricultural College (BAC) and the establishment of a triple helix horticulture innovation platform. Main activities of the project are curriculum development, module development, training of trainers in activating didactics, strengthening linkages with the horticultural practise, and stimulating horticultural entrepreneurship.

The project is implemented in close cooperation between horticultural stakeholders in Uganda like educational institutes and representatives of the horticultural sector and a Dutch consortium that is representing A-TVET horticultural education as well as higher education and the Dutch horticultural business sector.

Local partners


Kyambogo University (KYU) has a Department of Agriculture that offers the Bachelor of Vocational Studies in Agriculture with Education (BVS). These graduates are employed as agricultural trainers and teachers in BTVET and secondary education, as well as in the agriculture sector. Although the BVS programme enrolls about 200 new students annually, it faces organisational challenges as staff capacity is limited (about 15 teachers), practical teaching and training facilities and infrastructure are limited, and staff have little experience in developing and maintaining public-private partnerships in agricultural training. The agriculture department aims to develop certificate, diploma and undergraduate programmes in horticulture.

KYU’s food technology department offers food technology and nutrition programmes at various levels, including bachelor, diploma and certificate.

Bukalasa Agricultural College (BAC) is an institute offering agricultural education in a wide range of fields. The college has degree- and certificate-level programmes in the disciplines of agriculture (crop science), animal husbandry, agribusiness, horticulture and human nutrition. The programmes include economics, agricultural extension, computer science, ethics and gender, and tailor-made courses in horticulture and sustainable agriculture, among others. BAC teaching staff lack experience in horticulture and competence in competence-based education.

Uganda and agriculture – background

As in most African countries, agriculture is the main economic activity in Uganda, with a significant contribution to GDP and employment for about 70% of the population. Yet 83% of the population is minimally food insecure, yields are very low, and the agriculture sector suffers from numerous structural problems (poor agronomic practices, poor extension services, poor market and marketing infrastructure, weak producer groups, poor coordination in value chains, limited access to land and production capital, and lack of business skills) and is unable to actively engage the youth in agriculture. The 14 agro-ecological zones (AEZs) have varying degrees of vulnerability to climate-related hazards such as drought, floods, storms, pests and diseases. International climate risk reports label Uganda as one of the most unprepared and vulnerable countries in the world.

Most labour in the horticulture sector is performed by women in rural areas, which are already characterised by more marginalised groups in society. There is a lack of agricultural training targeting lower levels of education and women.

The horticulture sector, and thus the labour market (formal and informal), focuses mainly on production rather than value addition and commodities, which is also reflected in training, research and outreach programmes. Agricultural commodity quality standards related to national and international requirements are in many cases insufficiently addressed.

Currently, training institutes are mainly focused on teaching theory, rather than practical skills needed in the horticulture sector, based on job profiles. Most training institutes still lack adequate facilities for practical training.

A fundamental weakness in agricultural education is the lack of appropriate and systematic training of vocational trainers. Moreover, vocational teachers have little or no industrial experience or pedagogical training. There are hardly any programmes available for under- or unqualified TVET teachers and trainers and the current teacher training capacity is not sufficient to meet the huge demand for in-service training at revamped TVET institutions. Public-private partnerships in horticultural training and collaborative learning between TVET and universities should be enhanced.

Training needs of the institutions

While the qualifications of KYU staff are adequate, more training, technical horticultural expertise, public-private partnerships and the use of modern, hands-on agricultural training methods are required at the individual level.

Collaboration and structural interaction with horticulture programmes (at the KYU and at TVETs) on value addition, nutritional aspects, phytosanitary and quality control measures for horticultural products should be developed (integration of programmes, sharing of research/innovations).

For BAC, there is a need for practical training of staff on technical topics such as climate-smart agriculture, value addition, quality control and non-technical topics such as agribusiness, value chain management, education of staff as innovators, networkers and collaborators.

The curricula of both KYU and BAC need to be modernised in terms of labour market needs, modern teaching methods and public-private partnerships for practical training. For instance, at the education level, there is a need for more follow-up programmes in education and training, namely short courses and/or postgraduate qualifications.

Project objective

The project’s objective and long-term impact are as follows: contribute to ending hunger (SDG 2). The long-term impact is defined as follows:

  • Reduce malnutrition (Contribute to lifting 32 million people out of malnutrition by 2030);
  • Promote agricultural growth (Contribute to doubling the agricultural productivity and/or income of 8 million family farms by 2030);
  • Create ecologically sustainable food systems (Contribute to the conversion of 7.5 million hectares of agricultural land to sustainable use by 2030).

The project defines 5 focus areas for support (capacity building needs) relevant to FNS:

  1. Development of businesses and value chains in the dairy, horticulture and potato sectors;
  2. Job creation;
  3. Climate-smart agriculture;
  4. Regulation of quality control of agricultural products;
  5. Emergency relief and development.

Services rendered by Q-Point

This project contributes to improving educational capacity and training programmes in horticulture in TVETs and universities:

  • Horticulture curriculum innovations that support collaborative and multidisciplinary learning, gender and inclusiveness, (applied) research and community outreach across the value chain. Targeted at TVETs, universities and value chain stakeholders and supporters.
  • Stronger private sector participation in horticulture training programmes at TVET and university level; from development of professional standards, professional competencies and CBET curricula to provision of facilities for practical training for students/staff (satellite programme and workplace programme), joint delivery and funding of training programmes and mentoring programmes for youth/graduates starting up.
  • Practical training and curriculum innovations on climate-friendly agriculture, agriculture as a business, ICT and technological innovations for horticultural production and value chain developments to attract young people.

The main challenge addressed is the lack of applied technical and business skills of young people who want to work in agriculture, in the form of:

  • Development of practical training programmes for professionals on sanitary and phytosanitary standards and strengthening the professional competence of teaching staff.
  • Strengthening cooperation between TVET and universities at local and international level (integration of programmes); horticulture research from university level is translated into practice at TVET level.
  • Strengthening horticulture education programmes and teaching skills (at university and TVET level).

An impression of the project here:

Uganda green house construction

Uganda green house construction

Uganda green house construction

Uganda green house construction

Uganda green house training

Uganda green house training

Uganda green house training

Uganda green house training



Funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and managed by Nuffic, as part of the Orange Knowledge Programme, project number OKP-UGA-10021.




June 2019 – March 2023

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