Contribution of rangelands to household food basket and income in a pastoral area in Uganda

Rangelands are important ecosystems as they offer livelihood options and food security to many people in Uganda. There is barely any study that has analyzed the intricate relationship between household food basket, income and rangelands in Uganda. This study determined the contribution of rangelands to household food basket and income in Nakaseke district, Uganda. A cross-sectional survey using semi-structured questionnaires was conducted among 180 randomly selected households. The survey was aimed at determining the relationship between rangeland resources, food basket and income. Results showed that rangeland resources contribute significantly (p<0.05) to household food basket and income during both dry and wet seasons. Water, grass and shrubs were the most important rangeland resources in the area. On average, a household expended US$ 4.29 and US$ 4.04 daily on milk during the wet and dry seasons respectively. This accounted for the largest household expenditure on household food items. The household food basket is constituted by milk, meat from cattle and goats, posho, cassava, beans, vegetables, fruits, honey, sugar and oil. Four months; January-March and July-August were observed to have the lowest resource availability during the year. On average, households earned US$ 20.07 per month translating to US$ 240.84 annually. This average is lower than the US$571.9 national estimated per capita income. The average monthly income of the households during the wet and dry seasons was US$ 22.4 and US$ 17.7 respectively. Seasonal differences in income were however non-significant (p>0.05). The logistic regression results showed that size of land owned significantly influences cattle numbers and income at household level but does not influence the number and type of crops cultivated and available food reserves. Seventy three percent (73%) of the households attributed their livestock herd sizes to the presence of vast expanses of the rangeland. These findings show that rangelands are the most important contributors to household food basket as well as household assets such as livestock that have influence on household food security.
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Region Focus: 
East Africa
RUFORUM Journal Articles
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Open Access
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Web resource