Developing sustainable agriculture in Africa: main challenges for small farmers in Uganda
Kayabwe, Samuel K
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Conceptually, the principles of sustainable agriculture and rural development (SARD) enunciated in the den Bosch Declaration (FAO 1996) constitute the foundation for achieving food security in Africa and indeed in the world in general. In developed as well as developing countries, the major objective for creating the conditions for sustainable agriculture and rural development (SARD) is to increase food production in a sustainable way and enhance food security. This is best accomplished through education initiatives, utilisation of economic incentives and the development of appropriate and new technologies, thus ensuring stable supplies of nutritionally adequate food, which is accessible by vulnerable groups. Food production in a sustainable way also entails production for markets, employment and income generation to alleviate poverty. The priority must be on maintaining and improving the capacity of the higher potential agricultural lands to support an expanding population, while at the same time conserving and rehabilitating the natural resources on lower potential lands. Agricultural projects fail to become sustainable when they are wholly or largely dependent on external technologies, no participation of local people, and lack orientation to local conditions and needs of the local communities Food security, on the other hand, is a situation in which all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active healthy life . Latham (1997) stresses that food security has three dimensions: (i) food availability [supply of food – production minus exports plus imports]; (ii) food access by households and individuals [influenced by economic factors, physical infrastructure and consumer preferences]; and (iii) food adequacy [sufficient in quantity, quality and variety].