Dr. Madina Guloba, a Senior Research Fellow at the center, says that they surveyed over seventeen thousand households in twelve sugarcane growing districts in Buganda, Bunyoro, and Busoga regions where they found only one in every four households to be food secure.
a study released by the Economic Policy Research Center (EPRC) show that there
is almost the same level of food insecurity in households that are engaged in
sugarcane farming and those that are not.
Guloba, a Senior Research Fellow at the center, says that they surveyed over
seventeen thousand households in twelve sugarcane growing districts in Buganda,
Bunyoro, and Busoga regions where they found only one in every four households
to be food secure.
inquiry, she says they found households that don’t grow sugarcane to be
slightly more food insecure than their counterparts. The researchers who aimed
to among others assess whether a decision by farmers to grow cane, a cash crop
affects household food security and nutrition outcomes used scores to determine
how each of the categories was doing.
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on the tables,"//
While they found
no major differences in the variety of foods consumed by both groups, non-growers
scored 7.8, meaning they were more insecure than 6.1 for growers. When they assessed whether households had
enough food to last them more than a month, on a score of 0 to 12, growers
scored higher at 10.3 against 9.1 for the non-growers.
findings, Guloba says government and industry players should look into
innovations that intensify food production, especially in places like Bunyoro
where insecurity was highest with only one in ten households found to be
secure. Comparatively, the survey shows half of the households in Buganda were
secure and two in every ten households in Busoga.
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state in here,”//
Now, commenting on these findings, Moses
Kalyegira the Masindi district commercial officer said the food and nutrition
security situation in Bunyoro could get worse as more and more land is being
put under sugarcane growing. He proposed
the need for by-laws limiting people without enough land from participating in
sugar plantation, an idea that was supported by Paul Warube, the Iganga district
Agriculture Officer who further revealed that in Busoga, smallholder farmers
go an extra mile to hire land for cane farming and ignore food crops leading to
insecurity and challenges related with poor nutrition.
while local leaders are pushing for more regulation as the solution, formally
pushed for regulations in the area of sugar are largely not biting. In fact,
according to Jim Kabeho, the Chairman of Uganda Sugar Manufacturers
Association, the sugar industry is more aligned to the trade ministry than the
agriculture ministry which would be paying keen attention to issues such as
farmers need more awareness than regulations pointing out that t the sugar
policy passed in 2020 has not been implemented. For him, with no proper regulation,
food insecurity will not be solved.
On his part, however, Amos Lugolobi, the State Minister of Finance in charge of planning acknowledged
that regulating the sugar industry has been thrown to millers saying they will
speak to the cabinet once gain proper policy direction.