Bongyereire, Joy, Class of 2009 – (Uganda)

Practicum Summary:

Irish Potato Production in Kisoro District of Uganda

Using field surveys and a desk review of materials gathered from various departments at the Kisoro District Local government, Joy created a socioeconomic analysis of the use of inorganic fertilizers and chemical sprays as opposed to organic practices in the production of Irish potatoes in the Kisoro District of southwestern Uganda, a region with one of the last developed economies in the country. Joy asks key questions in her assessment, including what are the perceived benefits and barriers to adopting organic product of Irish potatoes by farmers in the Kisoro District and what kind of inorganic fertilizers and sprays are they actually using– and what are their effects? Her studies concluded that better farming systems for Kisoro would include rotational farming, mixed farming, organic farming, and fallow system. However, these farming practices require large plots of land, which is not feasible for all smallholders due to the high population density per square mile. Joy recommends instituting demographic controls through the Ugandan Government to ease pressure on natural resources, especially land and forests. She highlights the direct correlation between the use of natural resources and economic health in Uganda, pointing out that careful management and long term planning can lead to increased agricultural and forestry productivity.