Design and development of a Robotic arm for fruit picking.
MetadataShow full item record
Horticulture is one of the fastest growing sectors in Uganda and is listed as a strategic export in the Uganda Strategic Exports Programme. Uganda is currently the largest producer of fresh fruit and vegetables in sub-Saharan Africa, after Nigeria, producing about 1.1 million tonnes per year. In 2004 Uganda’s fruit and vegetable production was equivalent to about one percent of the world’s total production.Statistics from the Uganda Export Promotion Board (UEPB) show that in 2011, Uganda exported 1,442 tonnes worth $3.6 million, showing an increase from the previous year’s 721 tonnes worth $2.1 million. The biggest market is now within the East African region, particularly Kenya, South Sudan and Rwanda. Outside the region the European Union is the biggest consumer. Commercial fruit production for domestic consumption and export began in the 1960’s. Government-run schemes were established at Kiige (Kamuli District), Ongino (Kumi District), Odino (900ha in Soroti District) and Labori (800ha in Soroti District). These schemes produced various citrus fruits that supplied Nairobi Kenya, Kampala, Rwanda and Burundi. Production on these schemes went on until the mid -1970s when the political climate then made it hard to continue with meaningful management. In the initial plan the schemes were developed to use irrigation such that there is all – year – round production. These schemes’ massive and extremely productive land is still under government control and could be availed for reviving commercial fruit production.However, during the 1970’s the standards of living declined due to political instability, mismanagement and lack of adequate resources that eroded incomes from commercial agriculture. Technological development was also delayed by economic stagnation and agricultural production that used primarily unemployed methods of production on widely scattered farms with low levels of capital outlay. Still, agriculture continued to dominate the economy. In the 1980s the sector contributed two-thirds of the GDP, 95% of export revenues and 40% of government revenues. About 20% of regular wage earners worked in the agriculture sector and 60% of the country’s workforce earned some income from farming. At the time agricultural output was generated by 2.2 million small-scale farmers. By 2005, the sector employed up to 73% of the labour force and in 2008 it accounted for 23.7% of the total GDP. Exports from agriculture accounted for 47% of total exports in 2007. Most of the country’s industrial sector is agro-based. Of the total labour force in agriculture, women make up 83% as primary producers and contribute as much as 70% – 75% of total production. Agriculture has the potential to significantly increase its contribution to economic growth and poverty reduction. It was demonstrated that if agriculture grew at the average rate of 2.8%, the poverty rate would be reduced by 26.5% by 2015.