Ugandan Conservation and Agroforestry Development Project
Uganda is a small landlocked country in central Africa with a population of approximately 28 million people. It has one of the highest growth rates in the world. Like many African countries, agriculture is Uganda’s main industry, engaging approximately 80% of the population. Important crops include sweet potatoes, millet, sorghum, maize, coffee, tea and fruits such as bananas and avocado. A number of Australian eucalyptus species are grown in Uganda for timber production. Sadly, despite around 80% of the land being arable, just 30% is productively utilised.
One of Uganda’s great challenges is its unsustainable use of trees. With a large proportion of the population living in extreme poverty, timber comprises a massive 93% of the national energy use and is essential for cooking. Shortages in firewood are a major problem, with many young children walking long distances to collect the family’s daily requirement, often missing school and placing themselves in danger of sexual violence. In extreme cases, when supplies run short, animal manure is burnt for fuel, introducing a range of health risks for the family. The removal of trees has also had a significant impact on soil conservation and agricultural productivity.
The Ugandan Conservation and Agroforestry Development (UCAD) project aims to train, empower and facilitate improved forestry, agriculture and conservation activities amongst subsistence farmers. Our goal is to institute change at the household level so that Uganda’s farmers can be more profitable and sustainable. As these changes occur, farm families are able to address other critical areas such as education, water quality, sanitation, nutrition and housing.
The UCAD project undertakes a number of initiatives to address these issues:
- Agroforestry training;
- Fuel-efficient stove training;
- Junior LandCare schools program; and
- Agroforestry Network Support program.
All of these initiatives are overseen and monitored by Beyond Subsistence staff during and after implementation to ensure accountability and impact.