IFPRI Kampala newsletter of nov 11th out
This weekly collection of recent news articles related to agriculture in Uganda is compiled from online news sources. We also include links to recent publications on agricultural and policy-related research topics pertinent to Uganda.
Under agricultural and food policy related research, we provide links to papers on:
- The impacts of hybrid maize seed on the welfare of farming households in Kenya
- Evidence that rodent control strategies ought to be improved to enhance food security and reduce the risk of rodent-borne illnesses within subsistence farming villages in the plague-endemic West Nile region, Uganda
Thank you, and enjoy.
The desire to achieve food and feed security for both human beings and animals in Uganda has got a boost with the introduction of Lemnaceae, a plant that grows on water.
Efforts to bring chemical fertilizers to sub-Saharan Africa are often met with concerns over harmful environmental and economic side effects. The products improve soil quality — useful in Africa, where soils often lack crucial nutrients — and help to increase yields. But fertilizers are costly for subsistence farmers and can leach into water supplies, leading to health problems. Soil scientists have long wanted to assist poor farmers with their selection and use of fertilizers so that they can better match them with soil types and use less of them. At the Global Soil Week event in Berlin this week, researchers are presenting analytical tools that could enable them to do just that.
Someone observed that Uganda’s problem is leaders who do not know when to quit. To an opposition politician, that observation remains spot on 27 years after it was made. To a farmer, however, Uganda’s problem is failure to harness abundant and largely idle resources not leaders who overstay their welcome.
A researcher from the National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO) in Uganda, Dr Arinaitwe Geofrey, has advised agricultural extension officers to discuss with farmers on best ways to combat Banana Xanthomonas Wilt (BXW).
Africa Science News
The production of the East Africa Highland banana, also known as cooking banana and "matoke" in the region is poised to get a boost with the distribution of the first-ever, high-yielding, and disease-resistant hybrid varieties. The 26 hybrid varieties are a result of over 20 years of joint breeding efforts between the National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO) of Uganda and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA). They are dubbed NARITAs (NARO_IITA).
Mary K. Mathenge, Melinda Smale, John Olwande – Food Policy
This paper explores the impacts of hybrid maize adoption on the welfare of farming households in Kenya. We use a four-year panel dataset to estimate the effects of hybrid seed use on four indicators of household welfare, namely, income, assets, inequality and poverty. Results show that use of hybrid seed not only contributes to higher annual income, but also to raising the value of assets, possibly reflecting longer-term welfare effects. Further, we find that use of hybrid seed reduces the depth of poverty, and that the amount planted reduces inequality. As expected, impacts differ between major and minor maize-growing areas of the country. Maize farmers who do not use hybrid seed are clearly disadvantaged. This calls for continued public and private investments in the infrastructure and policy process that supports a competitive, liberalized seed industry and improved access of smallholder farmers to well-adapted, affordable hybrids.
Evidence that rodent control strategies ought to be improved to enhance food security and reduce the risk of rodent-borne illnesses within subsistence farming villages in the plague-endemic West Nile region, Uganda
Rebecca J. Eisen, Russell E. Enscore, Linda A. Atiku, Emily Zielinski-Gutierrez, Joseph T. Mpanga, Ezekiel Kajik, Vincent Andama, Cyrus Mungujakisa, Emmanuel Tibo, Katherine MacMillan, Jeff N. Borchert & Kenneth L. Gage - International Journal of Pest Management
Rodents pose serious threats to human health and economics, particularly in developing countries where the animals play a dual role as pests: they are reservoirs of human pathogens, and they inflict damage levels to stored products sufficient to cause food shortages. To assess the magnitude of the damage caused by rodents to crops, their level of contact with humans, and to better understand current food storage and rodent control practices, we conducted a survey of 37 households from 17 subsistence farming villages within the West Nile region of Uganda. Our survey revealed that rodents cause both pre- and post-harvest damage to crops. Evidence of rodent access to stored foods was reported in conjunction with each of the reported storage practices. Approximately half of the respondents reported that at least one family member had been bitten by a rat within the previous three months. Approximately two-thirds of respondents practiced some form of rodent control in their homes. The abundance of rodents was similar within homes that practiced or did not practice rodent control. Together, our results show that current efforts are inadequate for effectively reducing rodent abundance in homes.