An insecure land tenure system is making it more difficult to introduce sustainable agricultural practices in an area of western Uganda that has already been hit hard by climate change.
The 150-square-kilometre Kiha River catchment faces depleting natural resources, large-scale migration, and rapid farmland conversions, Katusiime reports. But “the lack of sustainable management in the catchment can be traced back to insecure leasing of customary land. Customary land owners rent out fragile areas near wetlands, stream valleys, hills, and virgin forests, as here they get more money from tenancy as land is fertile and good for tobacco growing and other cash crops.”
“Most of these tenants are involved in unsustainable practices like wetland destruction, excessive use of herbicides and pesticides, waste disposal into the catchment, intensive cultivation, and bush burning. All of these activities are driven by profit-thinking.”
CGIAR’s climate-smart agriculture program introduced a series of social learning approaches to get at the deeper structural issues behind the region’s poor sustainability practices.