Perennial crop farming and food security in Kigezi: a case study of Kigezi highland tea
Keywords:Tea growing, Food Security, Kigezi Region, Uganda
This study critically examines the contribution of tea growing in Kigezi region and how it affects the growth of other crops that are meant for food consumption. It underscores the performance of tea as a cash crop and as a means of generating foreign exchange for the country as well as a source of employment. This study establishes that the tea sector has not in any way affected food security in the region of Kigezi and has instead improved household incomes, been a source of employment and boosted revenue for households. The sector has however registered some challenges like limited faith among the out growers who prefer their own traditional crops. There have also been challenges of lack of coordination from stake-holders like NEMA, the district local governments and government ministries, departments and agencies. The study recommends to government that policy makers design a comprehensive tea policy that streamlines conflicting agencies and also learn best practices from neighboring countries like Kenya where the sector has performed immensely well. Farmers also need constant sensitization on the benefits of the cash crop.