Combatting Monocropping with integrated farm Management

Combatting Monocropping with integrated farm Management

In the lush landscapes of Uganda, smallholder farms have long relied on traditional farming practices, particularly the method of monocropping. However, this approach has been branded as a “disastrous agriculture system” by Ocean Robbins (2022), and its detrimental effects on land productivity and food security are becoming increasingly evident. Monocropping, the practice of cultivating a single crop repeatedly, offers neither the dietary diversity we need nor the ecological balance our ecosystems crave. As a result, farming families are grappling with pronounced nutritional and food insecurities, exacerbating the economic and social challenges they face. 

In the early 1990s, the Ugandan government initiated a shift towards early maturing crops, diverting attention from diverse staple crops like tubers, legumes, and cereals. Moreover, there has been a growing trend towards purely commercial farming ventures, such as tea and sugarcane production, which fail to ensure sufficient and nutritionally balanced diets for the nation. To combat this looming crisis, KRC Uganda has taken proactive measures. Through their agriculture extension programs, they are employing the Integrated Farm Plan Approach (PIP) to train family farmers in adopting agroecological practices for food production. These practices not only promote crop and dietary diversity but also work to regenerate the natural ecosystems essential for healthy food systems.

In conclusion, monocropping continues to be a “disastrous agriculture system” in Uganda. To convey this message effectively to smallholder farmers still practicing it, education is key. Farmers need to understand that monocropping is detrimental both to the land and to food security. The solution lies in supporting local, organic, diverse farms that produce the variety of foods we need without leaving the environment in a deteriorating state. It’s time to embrace sustainable farming practices for a brighter, more food-secure future in Uganda.

By Moses Akugizibwe

Extension Worker, KRC-Uganda

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