Leaders in Uganda’s oil district-Kikuube are worried of the looming food insecurity as people have taken to growing sugarcane on commercial basis resulting into diversion from food crop growing to monoculture sugarcane plantation.
Leaders say the change in land use is motivated by commercial gains for improved household income than food production which is likely to expose them to food insecurity and malnutrition in the near feature.
Dan Muheirwe, the Member of Parliament for Buhaguzi County says people have diverted to sugarcane growing to feed into Hoima Sugar Limited located in Kiswaza village in Kizirafumbi Sub County in the same district, which was commissioned by President Yoweri Museveni in 2015.
The MP adds that this has come amidst oil infrastructural development like road expansion andpipeline which has also affected food growing patterns and food gardens for affected people, all becoming a threat to food security in the district.
“Pipeline and road developments are affecting our food crops in the gardens and now sugarcane growing has come in. I would advise that for those who plant sugarcane, they should be having 10 acres and above but those with one, two acres please focus on growing crops,” he said.
He adds that, “the government is constructing the airport and good roads so as host communities, you should be ready to tap oil benefits by growing crops to supply those who will come to work at the refinery and the airport.”
Manison Byaruhanga, the speaker for Kiziranfumbi Sub County, says the council is proposing to pass a resolution to compel people from the age of 18 years and above in each family to at least have a garden of cassava in a move to promote food security at household level.
Kikuube, which is adjacent the Oil refinery and Hoima International Airport, is one of the districts where National Association Professional Environmentalists (NEMA) is carrying out food security and seed sovereignty campaign under sustainability school program.
Allan Kalangi, the Programs Manager, people need to ensure sustainable land use that supports income generation and food security at the same time.
Compiled by precious Naturinda