Uganda Fact File on Agriculture and Environment
Uganda is a land locked fertile country with regular rainfall, many lakes, rivers and substantial natural resources including fertile soils deposits of minerals including recently discovered oil.
Agriculture is the most important sector of Uganda’s economy employing over 80% of the work force. Coffee is the main source of foreign trade.
Uganda Country Data Profile (World Bank):
- Agricultural land percentage of land area: 69.9 % 197,100 sq km
- Water: 43,938 sq km
- Forest: 29,900 sq km
Main environmental concerns:
- Draining of wetlands for agricultural use;
- Soil erosion
- Water hyacinth infestation
- Widespread poaching
JUNE 2012 THEME: AGRICULTURE AND ENVIRONMENT
“For six years you are to sow your fields and harvest the crops, 11 but during the seventh year let the land lie unplowed and unused…
The biblical jubilee protocol required the land to rest every 7th year. In the season of jubilee, the land had a second year’s rest covering the 49th and 50th years. This was instituted to counter over-farming, and is an insight into God’s concern for the environment. Modern science has concurred that when land rests and is allowed to remain fallow for a season, it re-nourishes and rebuilds the soil.
In Uganda we a greater challenge of under utilization of land and not over utilization. God gifted Uganda with some of the most fertile agricultural land on earth plus two rainy seasons in a year. We are currently only utilizing a fraction of our immense agricultural potential. In addition we are faced with the unregulated sell-off of land to foreigners. The year of jubilee signaled a time for land to revert back to its original owner.
Due to increasing population, poverty and other factors, pressure has continued to be exerted on the environment. We have the responsibility to ensure that we develop sustainably without compromising the ability of the next generation to meet their own needs. There is need to develop personal responsibility for the environment, love for the country and its resources.
This month we reflect and take stock of agriculture and the state of our environment.
- What is the state of individual, family and customary land in which you have ownership?
- Is the land productive or fallow?
- What has the land been producing?
- If productive, have you given it rest?
- What has been the state of the environment in the communities you have interacted with in the last fifty years?
- Have you observed any trends in deforestation, climate change?
- The fertile soils and abundance of rain our country is blessed with
- The wide variety of foods, fruits and vegetables we enjoy all year round
- The beautiful stable climate all year round without wide fluctuations in temperature.
- In what ways can your land be more productive?
- What do you need to do to realize this?
- What are your plans to own land?
- What things can you do to protect and preserve the environment in your community?
Jubilee Point of action for the month:
Contribute to a clean , healthy and productive environment by:
- Greening your environment: planting a tree or organizing a tree planting campaign for your community to green the environment and combat the deforestation taking place in the nation.
- Planting trees on degraded land
- Planting trees and grass to cover bare soils and hilly and mountainous areas
- Cleaning water points and plant trees in water catchment areas
- Controlling bushfires
- Managing waste by sorting, recycling and safe disposal
- Using wetlands wisely
- Managing resources like food, water, energy, and soil sustainably
- Using your hands, heart, and mind for the environment
For Community Leaders:
- Consider organizing a community cleaning day
- Consider organizing a seminar on the best use of land
Jubilee Prayer for the month:
Pray that Uganda will realize her full agricultural potential in the next 50 years and will develop without destroying her environmental heritage.
Jubilee Pledge for the month:
I pledge to take good care of the world God has entrusted me with and pass it on as a gift to the next generation.
World Environment Day is on Tuesday, June 5, 2012.