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World bank, 2019
Poverty headcount ratio at $2.15 a day (2017 PPP) (% of population)
Population below international poverty line

Equivalent to 130,000 Ugandan shillings per worker per month.
WageIndicator Foundation, 2023

per month
National minimum wage

Equivalent to 848,837 Ugandan shillings per worker per month.
Global Living Wage Coalition, 2023

per month
Rural living wage
World bank, 2021
Employment in agriculture (% of total employment) (modeled ILO estimate)
Agricultural workforce
World bank, 2022
Agriculture, forestry, and fishing, value added (% of GDP)
Agriculture share of GDP

ITUC Global Rights Index, 2023
Systematic violation of rights.

Risk to workers' rights


Uganda has a population of roughly 47 million people,[1] with 74% of the population residing in rural areas,[2] and the remaining 26% in urban areas.[3] Nearly 63% of the population is employed in agriculture,[4] a sector that represents 24.1% of the country’s GDP.[5]
Smallholder farmers in Uganda are responsible for 80% of the country’s agricultural output and represent almost the totality (89%) of Ugandan farmers. The average size of a smallholder farm in Uganda is 1 hectare. Almost 60% of smallholder farmer income is generated on-farm, with the majority of labour coming from the household itself. Many smallholders (85%) sell their products directly to consumers at local markets accepting the potential loss of income due to the lack of infrastructure and transportation. Maize and beans are the most widely cultivated staple crops in Uganda and are used both for sale and consumption. The majority of coffee in Uganda is also produced by smallholder farmers, although they often have difficulty complying with quality standards.[6]

Plantains, sugar cane, cassava, maize and cow milk are the top produced commodities in Uganda.[7] Regarding the country’s main exported commodities, these include coffee, sugar carne, maize flour, cow milk and rice.[8]
  1. ^ World Bank. (2022).
  2. ^ World Bank. (2022).
  3. ^ World Bank. (2022).
  4. ^ World Bank. (2021).
  5. ^ World Bank. (2022).
  6. ^ FAO. (2018). Country Fact Sheet – Uganda.
  7. ^ FAOSTAT. (2021).
  8. ^ FAOSTAT. (2021).


Minimum wage

The minimum wage in Uganda is set at 130,000 Ugandan shillings (33 EUR) per month.[1] However the minimum wage has not changed since 1984 and is much lower than the government’s poverty income level. In addition, labour law enforcement is significantly low in Uganda due to the country’s low resources for monitoring. Furthermore, labour law does not cover workers in informal sectors, many of whom are agricultural and domestic workers.[2]

  1. ^ Wage Indicator Foundation (2023). Minimum Wage - Uganda.
  2. ^ U.S. Department of State. (2019).

Living wage

The Global Living Wage Coalition has developed a living wage benchmark for rural Uganda in the Lake Victoria Basin region with context in the floriculture sector. In Uganda flowers are grown almost exclusively for export markets, with over 90% of its flower production exported to the Netherlands.

Based on the Anker methodology, the living wage for workers near floriculture farms in rural Uganda is estimated at 848,837 Ugandan shilling (216 EUR) per month. This is the living wage required by workers who live in rural areas near to floriculture sector farms to afford a basic but decent standard of living. [1]

Living income

The Living Wage Benchmark includes a Living Income report, estimating the cost of a basic but decent standard of living for a family of 5 with 1.78 workers. The figure was estimated at 1,156,544  Ugandan shilling (294 EUR) per month[1].

  1. a, b Global Living Wage Coalition (2023). Living Wage Update Report: Rural Uganda, Lake Victoria Basin.

What's happening


Fairtrade Original

Fairtrade Original pays a Living Income Reference Price to Ugandan coffee growers, and coffee drinkers can trace their coffee beans all the way back to the farmer.


Social Vanilla

Danish social-enterprise Social Vanilla uses traceability to showcase their journey to unlock the potential of quality vanilla to provide Ugandand small farmers with an important source of income. 


Living Income Reference Prices for Vanilla from Uganda and Madagascar

A Fairtrade LIRP indicates the price needed for an average farmer household with a viable farm size and an adequate productivity level to make a living income from the sales of their crop. This study was updated in 2023. 


Fairtrade Living Income Reference Price for coffee from Uganda

The Dutch company Fairtrade Original has committed to paying the Living Income Reference Price to their Ugandan supplier, Ankole Coffee Producers Cooperative Union (ACPCU). 


A Fairtrade LIRP indicates the price needed for an average farmer household with a viable farm size and an adequate productivity level to make a living income from the sales of their crop. This study was valid in 2021. 


Assessing Coffee Household Income

This report by True Price and Fairtrade focuses on finding out how much do coffee farmers actually earn and what is Fairtrade’s contribution in their income.


Global Coffee Platform - Uganda

The Global Coffee Platform is the leader organization in sustainable coffee and has established ten country platforms including one in Uganda.


Living Income Benchmarking of Rural Households

This research article provides a simple method for estimating rural living incomes and applies it in three cases in East African countries.


Moyee Coffee

Moyee, is a coffee company which helps producers capture more product value, leaving 400% more money in the producing country following a 50-50 philosophy.


Time for some Truly Good Coffee

This report sheds light on the social sustainability issues in coffee producing countries.


Living Wage Benchmark, Rural Uganda

Living wage estimate for floriculture farm workers to be able to afford a basic but decent living standard in Lake Victoria basin, Uganda.

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