Many people’s livelihoods depend on having secure access to land. This is important for an income, but also to grow healthy food. In Uganda, the increasing population and the effects of climate change are threatening people’s access to land. The LAND-at-scale programme aims to increase food security by improving land governance.
Uganda’s land access challenges
There is a lot of pressure on land in Uganda. The country has a rapidly growing population. It also hosts the world’s third-largest refugee population. Particularly people with a low income struggle to get access to land where they can produce healthy food. Land distribution plays a big role in the effective use of agricultural land. Splitting the land into smaller plots makes land use less efficient. For example, Uganda gives small plots of land to refugees to produce their own food. But the more the refugee population grows, the smaller these plots become.
Fair distribution of land depends on good land governance. The government needs to know which plots of land are available to give away. This is challenging because the Ugandan national cadastre is out-of-date. Uganda still uses traditional, unregistered systems to govern over 80% of its land. So, the government does not know exactly who owns or uses which plot of land. This leads to disagreements about who has the right to use the land.
Across rural areas, almost 1 in 4 farms is involved in a land dispute. Land conflicts restrict food production. Also, natural disasters due to climate change have caused major crop losses in recent years. Better land governance is an important part of the solution for all of these challenges. Together with the Dutch embassy in Uganda, LAND-at-scale aims to improve food security in Uganda by focusing on proper distribution and use of land.
But how does LAND-at-scale contribute to food security?
It all starts with proper registration. To deal with the outdated cadastre, LAND-at-scale will help register and formalise land use rights. The aim is to make it clear who has the right to use the land and prevent land disputes.
Besides land registration, land use planning is also an important tool that LAND-at-scale focuses on. Land use planning prepares the country for the future. By planning land use in a climate-sensitive way, the land can better withstand natural disasters caused by climate change. This prevents crop losses in disaster areas. Land use planning is also an important tool for urbanisation, for example. As more people move to the cities, urban areas grow. Expansions need careful planning so the cities can grow sustainably and inhabitants have access to enough healthy food.
Would you like to know more?
Ineffective land governance is one of many causes of food insecurity. Through collaboration with other food security projects from the Dutch embassy in Uganda, LAND-at-scale helps improve food security. Read more about the LAND-at-scale programme, or sign up for the LAND-at-scale quarterly newsletter to stay updated.