Assessing the extent of security of customary land tenure on food security in Uganda: a case study of Patongo Sub County – Agago District
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Progress towards improved food security continues to be uneven across regions in the world. Some regions have made remarkably rapid progress in reducing hunger, notably the Caucasus and Central Asia, Eastern Asia, Latin America and Northern Africa. Others, including the Caribbean, Oceania and Western Asia, have also reduced their PoU, but at a slower pace. Progress has also been uneven within these regions, leaving significant pockets of food insecurity in a number of countries. In two regions, Southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, progress has been slow overall. While some countries report successes in reducing hunger, undernourishment and other forms of malnutrition remain at overall high levels in these regions. In sub-Saharan Africa, land is predominantly owned under customary land tenure and being used mostly for agricultural purposes. According to World Bank Fact Sheet, agriculture employs 65% of Africa‘s labor force and accounts for 32% of GDP. Despite the fact that Africa has large arable land resources, the continent imports roughly $30 billion in agricultural products yearly (World Bank, 2015). Sub-Saharan region is also ranked as the most food and nutrition insecure continent with about a quarter of its population undernourished. Paradoxically, the majority of these are the smallholder farmers. Uganda continues to experience undesirable levels of food security especially in the North and North Eastern parts of the country. In these regions, land is predominantly under customary land tenure and the locals engaging in subsistence agriculture. High levels of food insecurity in Uganda are attributed mainly to the insecure land tenure that discourages engagement in agriculture for food production. These insecurities are mainly derived from encroachment by other members of the community or expropriation by the state for community activities and services. The ineffective dispute resolution mechanisms that take too long to resolve these disputes also tends to add to the negative effects of customary land tenure and food insecurity. These factors combined have led to high levels of food insecurity and undernourishment creating a need for redress. This research therefore seeks to assess the degree to which these food insecurities can be attributed to the customary land tenure system of land ownership which is continuously deemed insecure and not supportive of the agriculturalist nature of these communities.