Closing Smallholder Farmer Households’ Food Security Deficits

By: Jane Kobusingye  

This paper looks at the food security situation in three most deprived and poverty-stricken regions in the Northern parts of Uganda and examines how smallholder farmer households cope during food insecure periods. The study used matched case control. A sample of 346 respondents was used. A case was defined as households that had been targeted by food security measures while a control was a smallholder farmer household that had not received any food security intervention. A bi-variate and multivariate analysis was done using SPSS and Epiinfo, while a master sheet technique was used for qualitative analysis. The study concludes that although farmers in these regions cultivate purposely for household consumption and sell the surplus, food was not available throughout the year in the farmer households interviewed. On the average staple foods produced lasted for seven months. Coping mechanisms during months of inadequate household food provision included migration to the South for wage labor, support from relatives and friends outside the regions, sales from livestock and household valuables as well as reduction of food intake and consumption of less preferred food. Erratic rainfall patterns, high cost of agrochemicals, lack of knowledge on improved farming and post-harvest practices as well as lack of production credit and markets for farm produce were some of the constraints militating against increased production and improvement in food security. Measures to remove food stress constraints will therefore go a long way to improve the household food security situation in Northern Uganda.

Food stress, Uganda
Food Production and Sustainability
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Jane Kobusingye

Monitoring and Evaluation Manager, Research, Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning, Agency for Integrated Sustainable Agriculture (AISA))-Masaka, Uganda, Uganda