CENTRE FOR ECOLOGICAL GOVERNANCE AND GENDER INITIATIVES (CEGGI)
REPORT OF FIELD VISIT TO KABAALE WOMEN FARMERS GROUP IN BUSERUKA – HOIMA DISTRICT
DATE: 06 DECEMBER 2021
Establishing a working partnership with Kabaale Women Farmers on food security, nutrition and vulnerability
The meeting opened with self-introduction by all the participants.
The Officer – Patience Katooko introduced CEGGI to the community and the intent to work with them to improve community food security and nutrition to reduce vulnerabilities related to food insecurity.
The women related some of the challenges they face and why they don’t get enough food
- Soil fertility had reduced due to poor pesticides that they use. They said that crops like cassava look great on the outside but do not have the cassava tubers in the ground and whatever cassava may have put is usually rotten.
- Burning of bushes to fasten the clearing process and fear of reptiles affects fertility of land
- They lack the agroecological knowledge and other traditional farming practices to allow the land to rest or practice crop rotation to improve on the soil fertility for better yields.
- Uncertain weather pattern due to deforestation which has tampered with nature has reduced on the rainfall and on crop yields.
- The traditional seeds which they grow and which does not require external inputs does not attract market, so the women are forced to grow the improved seed varieties for sale to improve their own livelihoods.
Challenges why they don’t get nutritious food
- Disappearance of indigenous seeds because of the introduction of improved seed breeding programs led many women to abandon the traditional seed varieties. They mentioned that the improved seed varieties mature early thus providing food in the short-run.
- The traditional seed varieties lack market within their territory, so the women are not able to sell them to get money. The improved seed varieties are preferred by customers and thus have the market.
- They lack the ingredients for making organic pesticides which are environmentally friendly so the crops are usually affected by pests.
- Most of the women do not know and value the importance of nutrition by eating a balanced meal of proteins, carbohydrates and vitamins. They feel it is a waste to eat fruits. Fruits are usually grown for sale to get money for other household needs. Meanwhile others said they were lazy to grow different food varieties. They only grow what they think is essential. Others just don’t have the food varieties to supplement their nutrition. “When you don’t have enough food, you have no choice but to eat what is available”, they said.
- The women suggested a need for sensitization on land use to reduce on erosion, improve on the soil fertility for improved food production
- They need to have access to more traditional indigenous seeds and also to find market for it
- The need to sensitize the general public on the benefits of eating indigenous food that is healthy and nutritious. This initiative would support the women’s efforts to grow traditionally produced foods to improve people’s health and their own livelihoods.