Knowledge, perception, and switching options for small scale rice farmers when adopting the wetland use policy
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Rice is majorly grown in the low land in Buswale sub-county in swamps and the major rice variety grown is Kaiso (K-23 and K-5). This is attributed to its early maturity and its ability to tolerate weathers conditions such as us drought, pests and diseases. Male farmers dominate the growing of rice as the female farmers do the growing of food crops on the upland. Most rice farmers have attained education and they posse the skills of writing and reading. Rice is on average grown on 1.2acres of land in the swamps and the mean quantity of rice harvest is 596kg. Farmers have a perception that rice can only be grown in the lowland in their area and it is more profitable to grow rice in lowland than on upland. Growing rice in the lowland is a source of HH income and it doesn’t affect the food security. Farmers believe that growing rice in the lowland doesn’t harm the wetland. The study showed that farmers were aware of this policy with the aim of ending the practices that reduce the wetland productivity. Majority of farmers have a negative perception on the government decision to implement the policy. Farmers were not willing to adopt to this policy because they were not sufficiently educated on the importance of this policy, however there are farmers who are willing to leave wetland. Switching from growing lowland rice to other crops will affect the farmers HH income but it doesn’t greatly affect their food security.