This NAMA seeks to increase rice production in Uganda for both domestic and export markets by promoting the cultivation of high-yielding upland rice, as opposed to lowland paddy rice, in various parts of the country, especially where rice is a major crop. The NAMA will also work to streamline the rice value chain in Uganda, by facilitating rice farmers through various activities such as training sessions, fertilizer subsidies, processing equipment, and access to markets. The NAMA will also explore appropriate and sustainable methods of producing paddy rice that have lower methane emissions in Uganda in cases where upland rice does not yield.
Rice growing is recognized as one of the strategic enterprises that will enhance attainment of the objectives of the agriculture sector development plan. This is because rice i) has a very high multiplier effect due to its long value chain that employs many players, (ii) has ability to develop other sub-sectors; like feeds for the livestock industry, (iii) has high returns on investment, (iv) has high potential in the future and (v) has demonstrated a high ability to reduce poverty. The current plans to increase production include using both paddy rice and upland rice. However, declining paddy yields have been reported in many areas of the country (Wandulu, 1999; Ego, 2001), which implies that in future, it could become a less important strategy for reducing poverty in rural households in Uganda. The NAMA will replace paddy rice with high-yielding upland rice that does not produce significant quantities of methane, helping the Government of Uganda achieve its objective of increased rice production with much lower GHG emissions. Rice is recognized as a crop with very high potential future impact on poverty reduction and food security
The NAMA will address methane emissions from rice cultivation. Methane emissions from rice cultivation in 1994 were estimated at 23.54 gigagrammes. Recent estimates put methane emission from rice at about 204.24 gigagrammes in 2010. The increase in methane emissions is a result of an increased area under paddy rice cultivation, estimated to be 48,406ha in 2008. Methane emissions from paddy rice are variable, ranging between 0.25 to 0.82 g/m2//day, depending on the growth stage of the rice and the level of flooding. Activities associated with rice cultivation that indirectly affect emissions in the agricultural sector include productivity of paddy and upland rice, clearing of forests and woodlands to open up new land for cultivation, and use of inorganic and/or organic fertilizers to improve yields. In addition, paddy rice cultivation is associated with clearing of all trees in the land because these are thought to attract birds that eventually feed on the rice.