Food Security in Uganda
Food security programs such as agricultural training and food banks sustain the nutritional needs of communities through all seasons and any unforeseen environmental challenges.
All but two of the epicenters in Uganda have food banks, with an average storage capacity of 48,333 kilograms. The food banks provide an important buffer against famine in the case of unexpected food shortages and also allow partners to store their crops to sell when the market is best.
Two of the epicenters, Mpigi and Uganga, have food processing equipment including a cassava shredder, a motorized cassava mill, a maize mill and a bakery oven. These also allow partners to sell their crops at a higher rate than they would by leaving them unprocessed.
Seven of the epicenters distribute fertilizer and fertilizer subsidies, five of which come from The Hunger Project. All of the epicenters have a revolving loan fund and a crop diversification program. Crop diversification is significant in improving soil health, adding to a more diversified and nutritious diet and also providing protection in the case of the failure of one crop or another.
Six of the epicenters have agricultural shows or farmer field days that help to share innovative farming techniques. There 98 active food security animators through Uganda and all of the epicenters have a farmer’s co-op, union or association of some kind – these organizations are instrumental in giving partners bargaining power at the market. Two of the epicenters employ drip irrigation to water their crops.
In Uganda, the primary crops grown are maize, beans, millet, cassava, banana, ground nuts, sweet potatoes, soy, coffee, ginger, tomatoes and white potatoes and the main harvest varies depending on the epicenter and the specific crops grown; though most harvests are in June and July. Partners at all epicenters raise cows, pigs, goats, sheep, chicken, bees, rabbits and fish.