Over the past five years, UNCDF has been working to stimulate private sector engagement in rural areas of Uganda through digital bulk payment projects across the following five agricultural value chains; coffee, dairy, maize, seed oil and tea. The digitization of these value chains brought about significant benefits and opportunities to agribusinesses in the developing markets. The positive impact of the digitization of value chains on communities has prompted UNCDF to roll out digitization in other key sectors such as fisheries.
The fisheries sector is one of Uganda’s leading foreign exchange earners, accounting for US$200 million annually and employing a variety of people, including an estimated 1.5 million fishermen across the country, such as boat owners, fish mongers, transporters and processors. Despite its status as a leading export commodity, the fish value chain in Uganda is still largely unstructured and operations are largely artisanal. Many along the value chain work individually and there are no prevalent on-ground organizations to advocate for better market and prices for fish.
Building on the success registered with the agricultural value chains, UNCDF commissioned a study for the digitization of the fish value chain in Uganda aimed at exploring opportunities where digitization – especially digital financial services (DFS) – can add value and positively impact the productivity and livelihoods of all actors across the fish value chain. The report highlights key actors involved in the fish value chain and their subsequent roles The economic impact of the different activities in the value chain and the state of digital financial services in the value chain. Additionally, the report shows the unmet needs concerning financial services and how digital financial services (DFS) can help bridge these gaps. The report explains these key findings among others and concludes with a set of strategic actionable recommendations that are relatively easy to implement for stakeholders to pursue.