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Expansion of Commercial Sugarcane Cultivation among Smallholder Farmers in Uganda: Implications for Household Food Security

1
School of Forestry, Environmental and Geographical Sciences, Makerere University, P.O. Box 7062, Kampala, Uganda
2
Kachwekano Zonal Agricultural Research and Development Institute, P.O. Box 421, Kabale, Uganda
3
College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Makerere University, P.O. Box 7062, Kampala, Uganda
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 January 2018 / Revised: 29 May 2018 / Accepted: 5 June 2018 / Published: 11 June 2018
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Abstract

Understanding the impact of commercial agriculture in the face of global change is critical to support strategies that ensure food security and alleviate poverty among households. We assessed the contribution of commercial sugarcane cultivation to household-level food security among smallholder farmers in Busoga sub-region, eastern Uganda. Land use changes are motivated by quick commercial gains rather than sustained food production; a situation that influences food security. The majority of households cultivate few crop varieties, lack adequate and nutritious foods, and have inadequate income to purchase food to meet their needs. Inadequacy of food within some commercial sugarcane-cultivating households suggests that generating income does not necessarily increase food security. To cope with food insecurity, households offer labour in exchange for food, borrow food, ration food, and at times steal. This is exacerbated by increasing food crop failures, large family sizes, trade in food items, and declining availability of food and land for food production. Commercial sugarcane cultivation is the main driver of food insecurity but given its perceived economic benefits, future sugarcane plantations expansion in the region is probably inevitable. Therefore, future policy should be designed to provide triple-win strategies (i.e., food security, poverty alleviation, and climate change adaptation) that provide sustainable livelihoods. View Full-Text
Keywords: poverty alleviation; sustainable livelihoods; climate change; commercial agriculture poverty alleviation; sustainable livelihoods; climate change; commercial agriculture
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Mwavu, E.N.; Kalema, V.K.; Bateganya, F.; Byakagaba, P.; Waiswa, D.; Enuru, T.; Mbogga, M.S. Expansion of Commercial Sugarcane Cultivation among Smallholder Farmers in Uganda: Implications for Household Food Security. Land 2018, 7, 73.

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