Cooking banana farming system in rural Uganda – A comparison between agroforestry systems and non agroforestry systems

Published on January 1, 2014 | Author: Madeleine Andersson

The demand for food, feed, fibre and fuel has increased in Uganda over the past 50 years due to population growth. Recurring extreme climate events such as drought and flooding, in combination with large-scale land degradation, have led to declining crop yields. Lack of equipment, money and socio-economic issues has contributed to low yields. However, the soils in Uganda have the potential to produce much higher yields than they do today.

This study, which was carried out in April-June 2013 in Kkingo District, south-east Uganda, examined the effects of agroforestry on yield of cooking bananas in small-holder farming systems. Six farms practising agroforestry and six farms with no agroforestry, which were chosen in cooperation with the NGO Vi Agroforestry, were compared. On each farm, semi-structured interviews and seasonal interviews were held and the crops cultivated were recorded, particularly cooking bananas in mixed cropping systems. This study was run in parallel and in cooperation with two other studies, one on soil carbon stocks and one on macrofauna, and farms and sampling sites were chosen to fit all three studies.

The results showed significantly increased yield of cooking bananas in the agroforestry systems. The farms which used organic manure (i.e. the agroforestry farms) also had significantly higher yields of cooking bananas. Agroforestry gave a more diverse cropping system than the non-agroforestry system, which resulted in a higher standard of living and more self-sufficient households on agroforestry farms. Agroforestry was no more time- consuming than the non-agroforestry system. In fact, in the long run agroforestry involved less heavy work. One of the most important factors for success in agroforestry was the farmer’s knowledge and dedication to managing the farm and taking advantage of all available resources.
Andersson, M. (2014). Cooking banana farming system in rural Uganda – A comparison between agroforestry systems and non agroforestry systems. Bachelor’s Thesis. Department of Crop Production Ecology. Faculty of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences. Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU). Uppsala.

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