MSc thesis on Analysis of the constraints and opportunities in South West Uganda for the adoption of a range of sustainable land management (SLM) practices using multi-level stakeholder analysis now available

The MSc thesisof Jonathan Keeling on Sustainable Development at the University of Exeter, is now available for download. Jonathon stayed various months in Kabale, developed a questionnaire and worked with Africa 2000 Network to interview farmers working on SLM and watershed management in Kabale and Mbarara districts. His resulting thesis “Analysis of the constraints and opportunities in SW Uganda for the adoption of a range of sustainable land management practices using multi-level stakeholder analysis” The Recommendations from his studyare the following:

  • Maintain parish specific extension and teaching. Further study the issue and increase training on disease and pests as the greatest constraint facing farmers’ adoption of improved agricultural practices in Kabale & Mbarara districts.
  • Conduct further research on climate change impacts and offer farmers increased knowledge on future climate variability, how to measure risk & gauge adaptation options.
  • Increase FFS and farmer-to-farmer interaction to produce a larger network of “trainers of trainers”.
  • Adapt the location of demonstration areas to include areas in all target subcounties and districts.
  • Introduce innovative extension approaches to maintain interest and involvement of farmers and extension workers. e.g. flyers, radio shows, TV screenings, church services, etc.
  • Promote focus groups across stakeholder levels to develop innovative & cost effective ways of enhancing adoption.
  • Increase byelaw enforcement from LC1 and sub-county levels.
  • Increase training of technocrats and policy makers on agricultural techniques and account management. Make government officals at national level aware of the impact of such training both socially and economically.
  • Introduce a stricter screening process for the more technical roles of agricultural advisory staff, as some had no agricultural background and therefore were not suitable for the role.
  • Increase opportunities for academia, industry & government to create linkages & share knowledge on contemporary SLM practices and experiences.
  • Jonathon also suggested to encourage sharing experiences with other countries/projects on as this may bring about more effective and innovative ideas on approaches to enhance adoption.

One of the aim of the study was to make the research/ interview process adaptable to other areas in the Kagara Basin and, technocrats and policy makers with whom he discussed agreed that comparative studies should be carried out  in the other 3 countries of the project so as to generate ideas for policy implementation and solutions for increasing SLM.

From his reading, Jonathon noted a couple of more general development concerns: that recent (2006) oil discoveries on the western border of Uganda (with DRC), and internal corruption which produces an increasingly autocratic relationship among public and political opponents, have the potential to disrupt sustainable development of agriculture in Uganda in the future and could have wider repurcussions (Uganda Independent newspaper).

Click here to download the full report.