Bundibugyo Moves To Limit Cocoa Growing To Curb Food Insecurity

2273 Views Bundibugyo, Uganda

In short
Several farmers in the district prefer growing cocoa to food crops.

Bundibugyo district has moved to limit the growing of Cocoa to curb food insecurity. Bundibugyo district is a major cocoa producing area with 85% of the farmers engaged in cocoa growing. 

Several farmers in the district prefer growing cocoa to food crops. This has left some families without food to feed on. Now, the district has passed a directive requiring each farmer to grow at least 3 acres of food crops on their garden. 

Edmund Bishaka, the Bundibugyo District production coordinator says they were prompted to issue the directive because of food insecurity in households.
  
Bishaka says cases of hunger are high in the district due to the fact that farmers were using all their land for cocoa production at the expense of growing nutritious foods.
 

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Cue out: "…but growing food."//

Bishaka says several village meetings will be held to ensure that households understand the importance of food crops and adhere to the directive. 

George Baguma, the chairperson Bundibugyo Farmers Association says the directive is long overdue. He explains that some families starve when the cocoa season ends because they don't grow other crops

According to Baguma, in some areas, farmers have dedicated all their land to cocoa growing leaving their families to starve. He believes the directive will restrain homes from selling off food.

 //Cue in: "On your land…
Cue out: "…children grow healthy."//

However some farmers have criticized the directive saying that it will deprive them of their income. Christine Bbira, a resident of Bundibugyo town council says farmers should be left to grow crops of their choice.
 
Bbira explains that Cocoa fetches her more money without necessarily working hard because of the abundant market.

//Cue in: "market for cocoa…
Cue out: "…school fees for my children."//

In 2013, a report compiled by Bundibugyo district production department and Bundibugyo Hospital indicated there are 600 stunted children in the district due to the fact that parents sell nutritious food crops and feed their children on food without any no nutrition value.  
 
In 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) released a report indicating that at least 45% of children below the age of 5 years in Bundibugyo district suffer from chronic malnutrition.

 

About the author

Emmanuel Kajubu
Emmanuel Kajubu is proud to have been the first Ugandan journalist to write in depth pieces about the Tooro Kingdom institution. His knowledge of the inner workings of the Tooro Kingdom is what made him privy to the splits in the royal family. These splits almost challenged Tooro Omukama Oyo Nyimba Iguru's reign.

Culture, agriculture and the environment are just two areas of many of interest to Kajubu. As long as he has held a pen, Kajubu has also written about public policy, health and crime.

Kajubu is keen on impacting his society not just as a writer but also a trainer and mentor. Bundibugyo and Ntoroko districts fall under his docket. Kajubu has been a URN staff member since 2008.