Agricultural practices in mid-western Uganda: Challenges and prospects for food security in rural areas
Globally, there is a concern that current food production and distribution systems are not developing at a rate that matches the growing human population. In Uganda, rural-urban drift, land grabs and population explosion are already affecting food security. This is likely to worsen due to the increasing effects of climate change. The rural poor, dependent on agriculture, whose livelihoods are already vulnerable, and are food insecure are likely to be most affected. Measures should be put in place to build and strengthen the resilience of vulnerable people and enable them to cope with the threat to food security. This paper reports on a study that explored views on current agricultural practices and potential prospects through which the food security situation in mid-western Uganda can be enhanced. A purposive sample of 30 participants was reached and using four focus group discussions (FGDs), current practices and potential prospects of food security are explored in the context of decentralised governance. We present that successful food security programmes lie more with the local than they do with central government. Thus, every local government should take a lead role in mobilising and sensitising communities to become more conscious of the causes and risks associated with food scarcity in their locales and homesteads.
Key words: food security, subsistence farmers, rural communities, local governance