U is for Uganda

U is for Uganda

Date: 9 October 2014

Uganda has over 180,000 organic farmers, the second highest number of producers in the world after India (340,000). In Africa, where over 900,000 hectares of agricultural land are certified organic, Uganda has the most organic land of all countries with over 212,000 hectares, followed by Tunisia (174,725 hectares) and Ethiopia (99,944 hectares). There are of course many more farmers and hectares of fields that are not certified organic and there are thousands of farmers who carry out sustainable agricultural practices both from necessity (lack of money to pay for chemical fertiliser) and from experience.

Uganda is home to a number of agricultural research institutes that are working with farmers to develop new plant varieties and farming practices to improve yields. For example, the National Agricultural Research Organization has been able to develop 19 new varieties of sweet-potatoes which have helped farmers to increase yields considerably. Sweet potatoes are grown by around 44% of Ugandan farmers and it is the fourth most important crop in the country. The orange-fleshed sweet potato grows well on poor soils, is fairly drought resistant and is also a good source of Vitamin A which is important in a country where people suffer from Vitamin A deficiency.

Photo credit: Global Crop Diversity Trust


The A-Z of Food Sovereignty in Africa shows the positive alternatives to corporate-led agriculture. A new letter was posted each day in the lead up to World Food Day arrived on 16 October 2014.

Africa’s small-scale food producers already know how to produce enough food sustainably to feed themselves but the political and economic rules which govern the food system are set against them. These rules are written by and for multinational companies and political elites, in support of a global food system that benefits them rather than the millions of smallholders and family farmers who produce the food and get little in return.