1304 - 1303 Organic Agriculture: Uganda’s Food Security Lifeline

The current Biosafety and Biotechnology Bill 2012 is currently under discussion in the Ugandan Parliament. The Bill is causing controversy since it will facilitate mass introduction of GMOs in Ugandan farming and consequently will increase family farmers’ dependency on multinational seed companies.


What choice should Uganda make: GMOs or organic farming? Clearly, farming organically has its advantages. Organic farming is best adapted to local traditional practices and weather conditions and it conserves natural resources, water, soil and biodiversity. Favourable weather conditions allow increasing output without using agro-chemical products.


Organic farming is also providing income opportunities for Ugandan farmers. The sector is growing at a considerable rate (38% annually) despite difficulties of access to national and international markets. Principal export markets are industrialised countries like the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany and growth is still possible here, which would allow Uganda to establish sound export business activities and to increase employment opportunities.


Uganda’s organic farming sector needs support in order to enhance production. Training opportunities for farmers also need to be strengthened in order to ensure the correct use of organic farming techniques to combat pests and soil degradation. Only if these problems are resolved will this farming sector realise its growth potential.


Source: The African Executive; Morrison Rwakakamba

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