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Executive summary

This study has revealed the impact of HIV/AIDS on agricultural production in Uganda. HIV/AIDS has changed the family structure with able-bodied members dying, leaving the very young ones and the elderly. As much as deaths continue, there is no doubt that the majority of the people are aware of the various modes of HIV transmission, and how one can guard against HIV infection. Behavioral change still remains a challenge, and hence messages to be streamlined into agricultural extension need to be designed in such a way that they will empower individuals to adopt safe behaviors. Thus, behavioral change can help in stemming the spread of HIV/AIDS among crop and livestock farming communities as well as in fishing communities.

Agriculture which, absorbs the biggest proportion of the workforce, and constitutes the single most source of people's livelihood is being threatened by HIV/AIDS. The government policy of modernizing agriculture can greatly benefit from mainstreaming HIV/AIDS into agricultural extension. All households have been affected by the epidemic through time loss, labour depletion, increased burden dependency, sale of precious household property such as land and animals, all of which translate into decreased agricultural and fish production. This is suggestive of increased poverty among rural households, for HIV/AIDS threatens their basic source of survival. It is as a result of this that mainstreaming HIV/AIDS messages into agricultural extension in Uganda becomes inevitable and timely.

Extension workers interact regularly with the crop farmers, livestock farmers and the fishing folk. However, despite this regular interaction the study has revealed that extension workers are not involved in HIV/AIDS work, as it does not fall within their mandate. Also the extension workers at present lack the knowledge and skills of addressing HIV/AIDS issues since it had long been perceived as a health matter. In a way HIV/AIDS seemed to have been perceived in the agricultural sector as a health issue, but not a development issue. The proposed mainstreaming of HIV/AIDS messages into agricultural extension is recognition by the agricultural sector that the epidemic is not only a health issue, but a development issue as well.

The report is organized in six chapters based on the study objectives. Chapter One is the introduction to the study, outlining the methodology used. Chapter Two presents the basic profiles of the 313 households covered by this study. The socio-demographic characteristics of all the members in the 313 households are presented. Mortality trends in the last 10 years preceding this study are also analyzed. Chapter Three focuses on HIV/AIDS knowledge, sexual relations and practices. This Chapter is meant to aid the designing of appropriate HIV/AIDS messages to be mainstreamed into agricultural extension in Uganda. Chapter Four presents the findings on the impact of HIV/AIDS on agriculture. In this Chapter, the impact of HIV/AIDS is analyzed on the basis of 3 dominant categories of (i) crop farming, (ii) livestock farming, and (iii) fishing. Chapter Five deals with the mainstreaming HIV/AIDS messages into agricultural extension in Uganda, while Chapter six presents recommendations arising out of the study findings.

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