National
Sugarcane growing causing food insecurity
Publish Date: Jan 15, 2014
Sugarcane growing causing food insecurity
  • mail
  • img
newvision

By Innocent Anguyo

Commercial sugar cane growing is accelerating food insecurity in Eastern Uganda especially in the Busoga region, a study by Makerere University has revealed.


The study done by the department of Forestry Bio-diversity and Tourism was aimed at establishing the prevalence of food insecurity and the impact of commercial sugarcane growing on household level food security in eastern Uganda.

It indicated that commercial sugarcane growing although contributing to increased household income does not necessarily increase food adequacy among households.

The authors of the study said that there are few varieties of food crops cultivated by sugarcane growing households and the households are also short of money to supplement what they grow.

The study also noted that more people have taken to growing sugarcane on a commercial basis resulting in the conversion of different land-use types to monoculture sugarcane plantations.

“Many households in the region especially around Kakira sugar factory rent out most of their land to rich out-growers and remain with a little patch which they also use for growing cane.

The changes in land-use are motivated by commercial gains for improved household income than food production,” Dr. Edward Mwavu reiterated. However, Mwavu was fast to note that most men used the income acquired from commercial sugar growing to marry more women.
 
“This might compromise the sustainable management of their agro-diversity as well as food production consequently exposing them to food insecurity and malnutrition,” he added.

He made the presentation at Makerere University at the food science and Technology Conference Hall during the next generation of African academics dissemination conference.
 
The study was done by Dr. Mwavu and two other academic doctors who included Vettes Kalema and Fred Bateganya.

In their study, the authors found out that 87% of households in sugarcane growing areas reported not having adequate and nutritious foods to meet their family needs.

The research also established that even among the commercial sugarcane growers, only 3 in every 10 households reported food adequacy and that nearly 21 in every 25 households reported sugarcane growing as the main source of food insecurity in the area.

At district level, 44.2%) of households in Mayuge and 39.4% in Jinja attributed food insecurity to sugar cane growing.

Households also reported employing various coping mechanisms that included offering labour in exchange for food (30.8%), borrow food (9.1%), rationing of food (7.2%) and at times stealing from their neighbours.

It also emerged that male headed households were most insecure (62.5%) due to disregard for food in favour of other assets such as houses, bicycles and clothes.

The study also revealed that those who owned land were most food insecure (68.0%) since they rented it out at about sh500, 000 per acre for four harvest seasons (about eight years) in a bid to make quick money subsequently remaining with little land for food.

Food insecurity in the region, the study noted was also worsened by increasing trends in crop failures, family sizes, trade in food items in the villages, and declining food availability, land available for crop cultivation, and livestock numbers.

The study involved 208 households in two commercial sugarcane growing districts of Jinja and Mayuge.

 

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Bwaise youth given practical skills
Sports betting and gambling are fast becoming a serious challenge to youth employment in Kampala City since majority of losers in betting resort to crime including robbing and hitting people with iron bars....
‘Jamwa did not cause any financial loss to NSSF’
City lawyer Fred Mpanga has asked the Court of Appeal to acquit former NSSF managing director David Chandi Jamwa of abuse of office and causing financial loss....
Works ministry calls for UNRA independent procurement
The Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) has paved 305km of roads this year closing in on the national development target of 1,100 kilometers of roads to be paved by 2015....
NMS procures 6400 mattresses for hospitals
ACCORDING to the Ministry of Health facility Inventory July, 2013, they are 48 government general hospitals with a bed capacity of 6000, 170 heath centres IVs with a bed capacity of 6,800...
MPs query sh60m UCC land deal
MPs have raised a red flag over Uganda Communications Commissions (UCC) official in a sh60m land deal, for flouting the PPDA Act...
Big strides made in fighting TB, says WHO
The known tally of people with tuberculosis rose last year but overall "major progress" is being made in rolling back the disease, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Wednesday....
Was Oscar Pistorius' 5 year sentence fair and just?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter