Analysis of citrus value chain in eastern Uganda
Citrus farming is a smallholder enterprise in Eastern Uganda that has been prioritised and has received significant strategic support from government. However, farmers are variably engaging and benefiting from it probably due to existing inefficiencies in the value chain. This study aimed at analysing the citrus value chain, to identify factors affecting its performance, to foster citrus market competitiveness. The study involved citrus farming households, input suppliers, processors and traders. Cross sectional data were obtained and analysed using value chain mapping and gross margin analysis techniques. Results showed that farmers produce citrus using traditional technologies, including use of informally distributed planting materials with limited chemicals and irrigation. Value addition is limited and processing is still a critical missing link, thus fruits are commonly sold fresh. Generally, the value chain is not well coordinated and there is lack of trust among actors. Nevertheless, gross margin analysis shows that citrus farming is a profitable venture, which can lead to improvement in smallholder farm incomes and gainful employment in some segments of the value chain. Thus, citrus value chain upgrading opportunities lie within provision of quality planting materials, processing for value addition, and establishment of commodity innovation platforms.
Keywords: Actors, margins, oranges, smallholder