Food security vs sugar cane growing


Sugarcane growing has increasingly gained importance in Uganda. In Mayuge district every household is struggling to engage in sugarcanegrowing to satisfy the growing demand for sugar in the region. The assumption is that sugarcane growing would improve household income hence food security. Unfortunately, the income got from sugarcane growing is not translating to household food security.

Households continue to experience episodes of food insecurity despite large plantations of sugarcane.Where as one would expect positive relationship between income got from sugarcane growing and food security, this is not the case with most of the communities in mayuge district.

Sugarcane is perennial and a monoculture crop in nature which cannot be planted with other food crops. This reduces on the size of arable land for food production hence deepening food security crisis.The long gestation period of sugarcane compromises community livelihoods in terms of income and food security.

The food security prospects of Mayuge district are expected to worsen as sugarcane growers take longer to be paid and yet they have to meet their livelihood expenditures including food security. 

The more industrial crops like sugarcane are grown the less the food production. Most farmers offer more hectares for industrial crops at the expense of food crop. Growing perennial crops like sugarcane affects women access to land, their attitude towards farming food crops, which increases food insecurity.





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