September 9

Viewpoint: Why More Ugandan Farmers Aren’t Adopting Drought Tolerant Maize

By HyeJin Lee

Maize is one of the most important cereal crops in Uganda. In particular, smallholder farmers rely on it for food and as a cash crop. They also grow it as an important export crop.

Over the years, total maize production in Uganda has gradually increased, from roughly 800,000 tonnes in 2000 to 2,575,000 tonnes in 2019. But this is largely due to a steady expansion of maize acreage, little from improved productivity.

Low productivity is one of the biggest challenges facing Uganda’s maize industry. The reason for this is that, as most maize farmers are smallholders, their use of agricultural technology, such as fertiliser and improved seed, is very limited. There are also concerns that changes in temperature and rainfall – specifically increases in temperature and decreases in rainfall – will further affect maize production.

Photo courtesy of Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security.

Source: The Conversation (link opens in a new window)

Agriculture, Environment
climate change, food security, smallholder farmers