Uganda has only 1600 extension workers mandated to serve 4,000, 000 million farmer households in Uganda giving a ratio of 1: 2500 farmer households.
The rural nature of most farms remains a challenge to graduate and fresh extension workers from college as these fresh professionals often prefer enjoying the trappings of peri-urban life.
How do we crack this state of affairs? Do we leave solutions to policy makers and technocrats? Do we call for reinstatement and restoration of regional district farm demonstrations and stock farms?
A solution may perhaps lie in a stronger role of the private sector such as engaging in public –private partnerships and embracing technology. There is a pool of Extension Link farmers that were in late 1990’s trained by Uganda National Farmers Federation all over Uganda. Mobile phones technology can be used to complement extension efforts. Could such a model bring down the current expansive farmer-extension worker ratio and abridge the current information gap at the farm level?
Estimados miembros del Foro:
En el distrito de Lamwo, en el norte de Uganda, el sésamo (ajonjolí, ndr) se cultiva mayormente en parcelas que permanecieron en barbecho el año o los años anteriores. Esas parcelas tienen un alto contenido de materia orgánica y por lo tanto un alto índice de fertilidad. Esta práctica, sin embargo limita la participación de los ancianos en la producción de sésamo (que es sin embargo, uno de los cultivos que genera mayores ingresos), ya que los campesinos tienen que alejarse mucho de sus granjas (un promedio de unos 6 km) para acceder a las parcelas en barbecho o sin cultivar. Un anciano campesino me preguntó cómo se podría mejorar la fertilidad de las parcelas en torno a sus casas para poder utilizarlas para la producción de sésamo. Me gustaría conocer las opiniones y experiencias de los colegas sobre este tema.
Robert Okello Omach
Oficial de desarrollo agrícola
Mercy Corps, Uganda
More than 500 million family farms manage the majority of the world's agricultural land and produce most of the world's food. We need family farms to ensure global food security, to care for and protect the natural environment and to end poverty, undernourishment and malnutrition. Goals can be thoroughly achieved if public policies support family farms to become more productive and sustainable; in other words policies must support family farms to innovate within a system that recognizes their diversity and the complexity of the challenges faced.
The State of Food and Agriculture 2014: Innovation in family farming analyses family farms and the role of innovation in ensuring global food security, poverty reduction and environmental sustainability. It argues that family farms must be supported to innovate in ways that promote sustainable intensification of production and improvements in rural livelihoods.
Enhancing the socioeconomic benefits from forests
Across the world, forests, trees on farms, and agroforestry systems play a crucial role in the livelihoods of rural people by providing employment, energy, nutritious foods and a wide range of other goods and ecosystem services. They have tremendous potential to contribute to sustainable development and to a greener economy. Yet, clear evidence of this has been lacking. This evidence is critical to inform policies on forest management and use, and to ensure that the benefi ts from forests are recognized in the post-2015 development agenda, not only with respect to the environment, but also for their contributions to broader social issues.
This edition of State of the World’s Forests addresses this knowledge gap by systematically gathering and analysing available data on forests’ contributions to people’s livelihoods, food, health, shelter and energy needs. Crucially, the report also suggests how information might be improved and policies adjusted, so that the socioeconomic benefits from forests can be enhanced in the future.