Action / Africa
Family farming in Ouganda
Uganda has one of the highest population growth rates in the world. The vast majority of its population lives in rural areas, and the agricultural sector is under great pressure to feed the country’s population without depleting natural resources. The economy in Uganda is largely dependent on agriculture, which is the main source of employment. The sector employs around 70% of the population (and 80% of women), mainly in rural areas.
Although agriculture is the livelihood of the majority of Ugandan households, poverty still limits people’s access to nutritious food and resources: over 34% of the rural population living below the poverty line poverty and 87% of the working poor are engaged in agricultural activities. Malnutrition rates are also very high: more than a third of young children are stunted. Uganda’s population is expected to reach 100 million by 2050, hence the need for a food system capable of providing adequate and healthy food to the population.
Agriculture is a lever for action to reduce poverty and accelerate economic growth. This is why this sector must be a priority in national development plans and policies. Although the government appears to be open to dialogue with advocacy actors, Uganda’s public agricultural and economic policies are primarily aimed at supporting intensive, export-oriented agriculture rather than smallholders and small-scale agriculture.
Support for family farming and the agro-ecological transition is still very limited in the country. These dynamics, which refocus agriculture on the use of local resources for the benefit of the population living in the surrounding area, and their multifunctional approach, seem to be much more able to face these numerous challenges than an industrial approach. It is a relevant response that aims both to preserve natural resources and biodiversity and to reduce the negative externalities of intensive agriculture (pollution, soil desertification, resource depletion, etc.). Agroecology can generate secure and local revenues at all levels of the food system while enhancing human and social dynamics.
SOS FAIM'S ACTION IN UGANDA
SOS Faim has been working in Uganda since 2022 to promote and strengthen the agroecological transition.
hrough partnerships with PELUM (Participatory Ecological Land Use Management) and ESAFF (Eastern and Southern Africa Small-scale Farmers' Forum), we want to strengthen the participation of agro-ecological actors in the political and decision-making processes, but also to raise awareness among consumers and authorities on the role and benefits of agro-ecology in terms of food sovereignty and access to healthy food in Uganda. The objectives with our partner AFSA are similar, but on a pan-African scale.
We are also working with our partner KRC to strengthen several savings and credit cooperatives (SACCO) to enable farmers to have better access to the financing needed to develop their activities and those of their cooperatives.
Finally, in partnership with the NGO WOUGNET, we are facilitating women's participation at different levels of sustainable food systems by improving access to information and communication technologies (ICTs) for groups of women farmers, as a tool for sharing information and collectively addressing their issues.