The project of farmers’ empowerment through promotion of upland rice production to enhance financial and food security for biodiversity conservation. Upland rice growing is quite a new enterprise to many of Koome farmers who have picked up interest in it due to its various importance and uses. A good number of the small farmers were producing coffee and bananas for financial and food purposes but unfortunately these two have been seriously affected by the wilt diseases. Rice has become a primary staple food crop in the Ugandan diet, with a per capita consumption of about 80 kilograms.
There is low economic independence and overall development which remains a real problem in Koome Island in Lake Victoria. Poverty, food insecurity and biodiversity loss reflects a failure of development and imposes great suffering on the poor especially the rural island farmers of Koome. There was limited information and knowledge for Island farmers’ participation in upland value chain while protecting and conservation biodiversity on this little Island.
The project will be implemented through 30 households as a pilot from 10 farmer groups, to take 6 months; its purpose is to improve household incomes and food of upland rice farmers for the conservation of biodiversity. This will be through farmer training and advisory, provision of rice inputs and equip farmers with capacity to manage rice value chain.
This project if well supported, will contribute to addressing issues concerning financial and food security which will automatically increase household income and contribute to biodiversity conservation on Koome Island in Lake Victoria.