Analysis of the Impact of Sugarcane Plantation Farming on Livelihood of People: A Case Study of Lugazi Municipality
Nabuzale, Dianah Agath
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Commercial sugarcane farming has been practiced in Lugazi for nearly fifty years. This monocultural land use is associated with loss of natural vegetation and cropland, thus undermining food security status of a place. Further, sugarcane farming is a major contributor to loss of biodiversity. This study was conducted to assess the impact of sugarcane growing on the livelihood (income, health, food security, investment) on the people of Lugazi municipality. Data was collected using questionnaires and field observations. Land under indigenous food crops and vegetable has been declining since the introduction of sugarcane. Indigenous food crops and vegetable cultivation by farmers in the sugar belts has been declining. Furthermore, some farmers have abandoned the growing of these crops altogether. The results imply that sugarcane farming is a major contributor to agrobiodiversity erosion, an increase in investments and increase in the incomes of individuals. In order to curb further loss of biodiversity, reduction in the land under crop farming, efforts should particularly focus on food crops and livelihood diversification and adoption of farming technologies such as agroforestry.