Cash and food crop production in Semuto Sub-County, Luwero District 1980 – 2002: A comparative study.
Crop production in Semuto Sub County has experienced changes from traditional crops such bananas and robusta coffee to crops like vanilla and upland rice. In this dissertation, a comparative study of cash and food crop production from 1980 to 2002 in Semuto Sub County, Luwero District was conducted. The study specifically sought to identify the main traditional food and cash crops, area covered by them in the past and at present, factors responsible for the changing patterns in crop production, implications of increased cash crop growing on food security and on livelihoods of people. The primary data were collected using participatory rural appraisal and structured questionnaires. Field observations, in depth interviews, focus group discussions and secondary data supplemented the questionnaires. Secondary data were obtained from reports and other documents from various offices. A total sample of 162 respondents including the Luwero District Agricultural officer, Extension officer, Sub county and parish chiefs, local people and local leaders were consulted. Data collected was analyzed using the Statistical Package for the Social Scientists (SPSS). Descriptive statistics were used in the analysis. The results showed that crops like coffee, maize, beans, millet and bananas were the traditional crops grown by people in the 1980‟s. Currently, cassava, bananas, beans, sweet potatoes, maize, groundnuts, yams and irish potatoes are the major food crops while rice, vanilla, coffee, maize and bananas are the significant cash crops grown in Semuto sub county. Although the data show that the majority of the people grow cash crops rather than food crops, the difference is not significant within Semuto Sub County. This is a generalized picture of the sub county that is bound to change with analysis of individual parishes. In addition, research findings indicate that, there has been an increase in area (hectarage) covered by these crops from 1980 to the present. The reasons for the change in types of crops included introduction of other cash crops, acquisition of more land to grow crops and availability of markets for cash crops. Research findings also indicate that cash crop production has contributed to food insecurity, food shortage in households and less attention given to food crops. Lastly, the study found out that there are both positive and negative implications of increased cash crop growing on the welfare of people