<i>Uganda February 2014</i> <br><br>The meeting in Uganda was the first workshop for the SIANI theme Sustainable Agricultural Production and Food Security, hosted by SLU Global. The aim was to identify knowledge gaps and success factors on farm, village and regional levels. The workshop was held in February at Makerere University, Kampala with field visits in the Mbale region.
Stakeholder interaction in Busabulo Village, at the foot of Mt Elgon, Uganda. From left to right in picture: William Nambafo, agricultural extensionist; Magnus Jirström, Lund University; Florence Gibutayi, CBO - Tabu Integrated Women´s Group Bulambuli (local development group); Yelusa Kleisa, farmer in Busabulo Village. Photo: Håkan Marstorp
Efficient use of local resources
Global demand for food is increasing as populations grow and dietary patterns change, while at the same time arable land is expected to also produce more fiber and fuel. Productivity in cropping thus needs to increase sustainably to improve food security and facilitate rural development. This may be achieved by making more efficient use of local resources and external inputs, but how?
Productivity in cropping systems on smallholder farms varies greatly, and this may be used to find what differences in farming matter the most. Identifying the success factors on farm, village and regional levels will serve to develop options for sustainable production increase. This workshop explored productivity differences between and within households in search for their causes and effects on food security and sustainability of the cropping systems, and on methods to capture this information.
The Ugandan-hosted workshop was held in early February at Makerere University, Kampala, and in Mbale with field visits in the Mbale region. The participants used existing household panel data made available by Makerere University as a starting point for the discussions. Thereafter, knowledge gaps and need for complementary socio-economic and biophysical data were identified: e.g. linking information of nutrient, water and pest management to the respective fields or product groups; priorities, timing of farm operations and availability of labour over the year; and crop development over the growing season.
Interactions with stakeholders in the field
Protocols for collection of these data were developed by the workshop participants and subsequently tested in interaction with extension staff, a local development group and individual farmers. Hence, physical measurements and a combination of questionnaires and open interviews during visits to farmers´ fields in four villages. Simultaneously areas of particular need for extension services within the farming community were identified and highlighted as important parts of the questionnaire. The data are now further processed, evaluated and supplemented with a literature review. The result of the workshop should be made available through a report on SIANI webpage by June.
Author: Dr Sigrun Dahlin
Contact for the workshop:
Dr Sigrun Dahlin firstname.lastname@example.org
Assoc. Prof. Teun Dekker email@example.com
SIANI is a member-based network that supports and promotes Swedish expertise and provides an open and interactive platform for engagement and dialogue in a global agricultural context.