The National Alliance of Agricultural Co-operatives in Uganda (NAAC) is an umbrella organisation of all agricultural Co-operatives in Uganda. Founded in 2018 as a network of agricultural co-operatives in Uganda, NAAC became a legal entity in 2019 after formally registering as a national-level Co-operative Union with agricultural co-operatives as its members. Its registration number is 11226/RCS, and is regulated under the Co-operative Societies Act, Cap 112, and the Co-operative Societies Regulations, 1992. It also subscribes to the international cooperative principles
The NAAC membership is comprised of secondary and tertiary level agricultural co-operatives from all parts of the country and across all value-chains. However primary agricultural co-operatives can become members if their profile is deemed fit by the Board of Directors and approved by the AGM. As at end of June, 2020, NAAC has a membership of 30 secondary-level co-operatives, whom together serve 742 primary co-operative societies, with an outreach of over 52,000 individual farmers. As a co-operative, NAAC is a member-founded, member-owned, member-controlled and a member-benefitting organization.
The supreme governing body in NAAC is the Annual General Meeting (AGM), comprising of all members who make the final decisions and shape the path to be followed by the alliance. They delegate some of their powers and responsibilities to a Board of Directors (BOD), who are elected by the AGM to represent the members in business and legal matters.
The 7 member BOD appoints a management team, headed by the CEO, which is responsible for the daily operations of NAAC. However, unlike other Co-operative organizations in Uganda, NAAC also has an Advisory Board (AB) consisting of individuals of impeccable character, expertise and practical experience in the agricultural and co-operative sectors.
The AB is a voluntary organ which advises the BOD and provides technical guidance to NAAC management so as to ensure expectations of members, partners and the entire farming community in Uganda are sustainably met. The current AB is composed of persons with the following professions; prominent farmer and farmer leader, management consultant, international economist, public servant and rural development expert.
NAAC was formed to fill an identified gap in access to support services by agricultural co-operatives in Uganda. In order to fulfil its purpose; To enable smallholder farmers organized into co-operatives to become equal players in the agri-food chains for improved household incomes and livelihoods, NAAC works with all actors and stakeholders in the agricultural ecosystem, through partnerships.
NAAC focuses on six key thematic areas;
1) Public policy and agricultural co-operative representation,
2) Agribusiness and market systems development,
3) Agricultural research and innovation,
4) Membership & Co-operative promotion services,
5) Inclusive green co-operative movement,
6) Healthy & mutually benefitting partnerships.
NAAC is an umbrella body for only agricultural co-operatives in Uganda and is not the apex for other types of cooperatives. NAAC is strictly mandated to serve agricultural co-operatives with a focus to ensure they build capacity to fully participate in agricultural markets as equal actors capable of negotiating business with others and to lobby for their operating policy environment to be conducive for growth and development.
However, NAAC works with all other forms of co-operatives to synergize efforts for the benefit of its members.
NAAC is like several other similarly specific national-level co-operative unions in Uganda, for example Uganda Co-operative Transport Union, UCTU, whose focus is on transport business, Uganda Co-operative Savings and Credit Union, UCSCU, which focuses on supporting SACCOs, among others.