C. Mutumba1 W.N. Nanyeenya2, C. Mutyaba3, and J. Wanyama4

1 Agricultural Engineering and Appropriate Research Centre, PO Box 7065, Kampala, Uganda 2 National Livestock Resources Research Institute, PO Box 96, Tororo, Uganda 3 National Agricultural Research Laboratories, PO Box 7065, Uganda 4 Makerere University, Faculty of Agriculture, PO Box 7062, Kampala, Uganda

*Corresponding author: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Abstract

Uganda’s south-western rangelands have capacity to improve farm productivity but are hampered by scarcity of water. The purpose of this study was to establish the current status of farm crop and livestock enterprise management systems, gender allocation of livestock, crop and human watering activities and assess prospects for using improved technology for livestock and domestic water storage, conveyance and utilisation, and small scale irrigation. One hundred households were selected from two sub-counties to represent crop-livestock and semi-transhumant cattle systems using purposive, multi-stage and systematic random sampling procedure. Findings of the study indicate that cattle contribute up to 89% of household livelihoods, banana is a dominant crop enterprise in Kazo (5.3 acres) and sweet potatoes are common in Kikatsi (1.4 acres). The main water catchments in the community are by roof catchment (41%) and sloping surfaces (36%). Of the households with the potential to harvest from their roof tops only about 50% exploit this option. The main sources of water for domestic uses, however, are own dams and shallow wells at 34 and 21%, respectively. Regarding gender and water collection, results show that all household members contribute towards water collection but where males are concerned they rely on bicycles (48%) whereas girls and women mostly (75%) carry water on their heads. Livestock watering is largely communal as only about 40% of the farmers have own individual valley dams. The need to have affordable and sustainable water storage and utilization systems particularly for livestock production was determined. By improving water collection and storage at household level not only will labour be released for other activities but the drudgery to which the female folks are exposed will be reduced. Due to increasing sedentarised cattle keeping coupled with extended fencing and exclusion, trespass is a serious offence in the area. Individual valley tanks should therefore be promoted in place of communal dams. The current watering systems that promote siltation of storage systems due to widespread use of mud troughs should be addressed by improved water storage, lifting/pumping and distribution systems. The technologies that may be explored to improve water storage on the farms include roof catchment and surface run off harvesting using ferrocement and polyethene tanks, and individual household preferably polyethene lined valley dams/tanks. Lifting water from storage systems could be enhanced by windmills and treadle (foot) pumps.

Vision

To be a centre of excellence generating and promoting appropriate agricultural technologies

Mission

To generate and promote agricultural technologies and improve productivity, value addition, income and food security

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