Implementing plant clinics in the maelstrom of policy reform in Uganda

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningfagfællebedømt


  • Solveig Danielsen
  • F.B. Matsiko
  • A.M. Kjær
Pests and diseases are key production constraints
for Ugandan small-scale farmers. In 2010, the Ugandan Government,
as part of its agricultural development strategy,
adopted plant clinics to improve plant health extension for
farmers and to contribute to strengthening disease surveillance.
Despite government commitment and a growing demand
for this new type of farmer service, effective implementation
of plant clinics turned out to be a challenge.We examine
how agricultural policies and institutional setups, and their
political context, influenced the implementation of plant
clinics from 2010 to 2011. We argue that the political agenda
surrounding the decentralization and agricultural extension
reforms, initiated in 1997, substantially weakened the Ministry
of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries and
undermined institutional stability and the effectiveness of
delivery of public extension services. Implementation of plant
clinics was further affected by a new district reform and the
national elections taking place during the study period. The
dual purpose of the plant clinics created uncertainty about
their organisational belonging. They fell through the cracks
of extension and disease control. This was exacerbated by the
unclear roles and authority of the Ministry vs. local governments.
For plant clinics to succeed the fundamental issues of
governance, resources and implementation structure need to
be addressed. The Ugandan experience shows the importance
of understanding not only the policy and institutional frameworks
in which plant clinics operate, but also the effects of
political imperatives and donors on policy implementation.
This study provides a basis for institutional and policy analysis
related to the implementation of plant clinics elsewhere.
TidsskriftFood Security
Udgave nummer6
Sider (fra-til)807–818
StatusUdgivet - dec. 2014

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