Integrating Indigenous Agricultural Knowledge into Modern Agricultural Practices for Sustainable Rural Household Food Security in Uganda


Milton Rwangire
Roberts K. Muriisa


Food security is a major concern of the global development Agenda as reflected in Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs). Globally 2 billion people are food insecure and the situation is on a rise especially in developing countries. The Modern Agricultural Practices (MAP) being promoted have not solved the situation. The Indigenous Agricultural Knowledge (IAK) that has sustained food production, access and utilization in developing countries is not recognized in food security strategies. Uganda's food security situation is alarming; nearly half of Uganda's 7.3 million households are food insecure. More than 90% of the food produced in Uganda is by peasant farmers and depend on IAK, but there are no formal interventions that seek to encourage people to use it. This study was carried out in Isingiro District, South Western Uganda in the 3 Sub Counties of Masha, Kabingo and Kabuyanda that were purposively selected. Food security is a major challenge facing district and more than 95% of the people struggle to produce food through IAK. The implementation of Millennium Village Project in the district did not change the situation. The study employed a case study research methodology, but priority given to qualitative methods. 102 respondents were interviewed that included; farmers, local leaders and key informants. Three Focus Group Discussions were heldin each sub-county where data collected from. The findings indicated that the district was experiencing both chronic and acute food insecurity. The main causes of food insecurity included poverty, extended dry seasons, lack of granaries and lack of government enforcement. The IAK practices used towards food security included terrain and soil selection, intercropping, weather forecasting, seed selection, sun drying, use of local pesticides and control of banana bacterial wilt. The MAP used included; spraying, planting of hybrid seeds, use of fertilizers, and preservation of beans grains using lindane dust.IAK was contributing greatly towards the four pillars of food security of availability, access, utilization and stability in the district. The study recommends that it should promoted and one way of doing it is integrating it into MAP since it is what the majority use.Regarding integration of IAK and MAP, the study revealed that there was a conscious integration of both and came up with a six step frame work that can be applied to integrate IAK into MAP to ensure sustainable food security at rural house hold level in Uganda.