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Development Magazine

“Your voice to the World” Special Issue No. 01 November 2018

• The Malnutrition challenge in Western Uganda: • Kabarole Agro-industrial Park Commissioned!!!
What recent research says about Kabarole District!
• Food Circles (FCs) to solve the malnutrition Challenge in Western Uganda.

“Publishing Development Stories and Challenges

from Across Uganda, Africa and the World.”
Editorial 01
Kabarole Agro-Industrial Park Commissioned 02
The Malnutrition challenge in Western Uganda:
What recent research says about Kabarole district! 03
Food Circles (FCs) to solve the malnutrition
Challenge in Western Uganda. 06
Its Nsenene (Grasshoppers) time 06
Fort-Portal Farmers’ Expo 10

2 My Village Development Magazine - “Publishing Development Stories and Challenges from Across Uganda, Africa and the World.”
Dear Reader,
Welcome to this special issue of My Village Development
Magazine (MVDM). This special issue is dedicated to
a very important subject of Food and Nutrition. So
important because the community in Western uganda
is suffering high rates of malnutrition. That is nearly 5
in 10 under 5 children are undernourished and stunted.
Going forward, this issue and other subsquent issues
will attempt to share the challenge- what more research
on the matter says and solutions to this challenge.

In this issue we feature stories and articles that we

think they will be interesting to you. First, we bring you
BUSIINGE Christopher
the good news, that, at last the idea of the Agro-Park
is back in the public dormain in Kabarole. This is after
Gen. Salim Sale camping in Kabarole and changing
a few gears that resulted in the commissioning the
site for the Park at Kyembogo, former District Farm
Institute. The Agro-Park will sit on 100 acres of land that
were allocated by Kabarole District Local government.
Read and find out what the local leaders say.

The other story reveals the deeper challenges of

managing Malnutrition in Kabarole district. The
story captures recent study findings on some of
the underlying factors compounding malnutrition in
Kabarole. The research was done by 3 organisations,
IIED, Hivos and KRC in 2017. Read on to see what the
study says.

It’s Nsenene/Musenene Month! We tell you more

about the nutrition aspects of eating Nsenene and
other insects. We also report to you about a new
scientific innovation to solve the Malnutrition challenge
in Western Uganda. This innovation is an innitiative of
CECO-Uganda, a not for Profit organisation. Read to
find out what the innovation is about.

We shall bring you more stories related to Food and

Nutrition in the next issue of My Village Development

Nice reading!!

Editorial Team
BUSIINGE Christopher

“Publishing Development Stories and Challenges from Across Uganda, Africa and the World.” - My Village Development Magazine 1
LC V Chairman Rwabuhinga Richard, LC I chairman Kyembogo and Gen. Salim Sale Pose for a group photograph with other local leaders at the commissioning
of the proposed site. Photo by: BUSIINGE Christopher

KABAROLE AGRO-INDUSTRIAL Uganda and Mbale. One of the park, that has taken off
PARK COMMISSIONED!!! is the Namunkekera Agro-Park found in Nakasongola
District. It’s anticipated that, the Kabarole Agro-Park
Residents in Kyembogo village and
will take similar trends and direction like those other
leaders in Kabarole excited about the ones. If it does, it will indeed lead to the transformation
Development of household incomes in the region.

By our reporter, Fort-Portal The chairman LC I of Kyembogo village was the

most excited, stating that besides being the first such

n 22/9/2018, Gen. Salim Sale commissioned the chairman to host the park, the project will economically
site for the Kabarole Agro-Park at Kyembogo, transform the village. The development will be another
in Rwengaaju Model village in Kabarole. The add-on to the 27Billion irrigation project already going
land allocated for the park by Kabarole District Local on in the famous Rwengaaju model village.
Government is 100 acres located at the Former District
Farm Institute, today called Rwebitaba ZARDI. The The Production and works secretary at Kabarole
weeks before the commissioning, the technical team District Mr. Byakutaaga Aron said, “the district will now
at the district had spent sleepless nights working on embark on improving road works in the area”. The
the concept for the Park. This magazine is privy to district chairman, Mr. Rwabuhinga Richard said that,”
the contents of concept and it’s interesting. Prior to power needed for the project was already available
the commissioning of the site, Gen. Salim Sale had and all that remains is to extend transmission lines to
officially endorsed the concept during a council seating the site”.
at the district headquarters in Kitumba, Fort-Portal.
The Agro-Park project idea comes at the time when
According to the leadership of the area, the Agro- the region exports mostly agricultural raw materials
Park intends to revitalize the now under performing across East Africa. Research conducted by IIED,
agriculture sector because of low value addition. It Hivos and KRC (2016) had found that the region losses
will also be the first such a park in Western Uganda. a lot of soil minerals like Potassium, Magnesium and
Other parks that have taken off can be found in central Nitrogen through the export of raw agricultural raw

2 My Village Development Magazine - “Publishing Development Stories and Challenges from Across Uganda, Africa and the World.”
materials like bananas and maize. Other than the loss The Malnutrition challenge in
of soil nutrition, farmers lose income because of low Western Uganda: What recent
value added and thus their products are undervalued
research says about Kabarole
in the market. Recent statistics show that, on average
small holder farmers’ gross per capita income in Tooro
region is USD 317 and a regional average of 75Million
USD from small holder farming (CECO-Uganda, 2018).
BUSIINGE Christopher

This income is expected to go up 10 fold with the Agro-
n 2017, I was part of the research team that undertook
Park adding more value to agricultural products.
a study that administered a survey among 436
households, conducted semi-structured interviews
The increase in household income will definitely spur
with 36 households and held focus group discussions
household development and families will be able to
in 8 sub counties in Kabarole. The study was conducted
meet their basic needs such as paying school fees
under the Fort-Portal Food Change Lab initiative led
and medical bills. With more incomes available, the
by Hivos, IIED and KRC. The study that captured data
malnutrition problem in Kabarole will be tackled.
from both urban and rural households revealed very
Research shows that, when more money is spent on
important findings that no actor, especially government
food, the diversity of food available to the household
should underestimate but take very seriously. Some
improves significantly (IIED et al, 2017). Currently,
of the findings that I’m about to share in this special
malnutrition, that is; under 5 children stunting in
issue for my village development Magazine do present
Kabarole is at 41% and 44% for the entire Western
some unique causes to the persistent problem of
malnutrition in Western Uganda and particularly
Kabarole District. The full report of the results of the
However, for the above household development to be
study can be obtained from the three organisations
achieved, it will require that the development of the
mentioned above.
Agro-Park becomes inclusive and mobilizes farmers
from across the region to tap into the development. In
To put the results of this study into perspective, the
addition, while the development of the agro-park might
Global Nutrition report, 2016, ranked Uganda 104th
require external investment, internal mechanisms and
in the world out of 132 for the prevalence of child
policy should be put in place to tap into local content
stunting. The national average is 34%. Several studies
and protect local interests.
conducted by UBOS (2016/17) have constantly shown
a growing trend of malnutrition levels among under 5
Finally, just like you, I’m also looking forward to this
children in Uganda. These trends continue to worry
development and let us all prepare ourselves and tap
actors across the country. Statistics show that Western
into this life time opportunity. Start now to ask your
Uganda at 44% is comparable to Karamoja at 45% in
leaders about the progress they are making on the
terms of malnutrition (stunting). In Midwestern Uganda
where Kabarole is located the malnutrition levels are
at 41%. Ironically, this part of the country is considered
East Africa’s Food basket. The cause for such high
malnutrition levels include; inadequate food intake,
ignorance, pre-disposing diseases, poverty, taboos,
lifestyles and effects of HIV/AIDS (Uganda Food
and Nutrition Policy, 2003). This state of affairs by all
standards is horrific and must be dealt with immediately
by all actors in the Food and Nutrition sector.

The findings from this recent study kind of add salt to

the injury. They actually do say more about the problem
than it has been previously known. They point to what
is actually missing in the dietary diversity of food eaten
in these households of Kabarole.

“Publishing Development Stories and Challenges from Across Uganda, Africa and the World.” - My Village Development Magazine 3
The study states that, while rural households are concretises this finding that, foods like millet which is
still dependent on their gardens for food, a good nutritious and traditional vegetables take more time
number of them are increasingly buying food from to prepare. The region now depends on Northern
the market, especially; cereals, milk, oils and fats, Uganda (Lira) for millet as it’s hardly grown in the
sugars, fish and meat. The study found out that these Tooro region. Both in the rural and urban, time is a very
households consumed less of; eggs, fish and milk serious constraint especially on the part of mothers as
but consumed more of vegetables, fruits (including caregivers for children. The mothers are now more
bananas), legumes, nuts and seeds. Majority (42.2%) involved in trading activities than they used to be in
of the households were at the medium level of dietary the past (15-20years ago) and they are not at home to
diversity because they added white roots and tubers to prepare a diversified meal for the family.
their diet and only 31.9% had a higher dietary diversity
because they added both white roots and tubers and The study further found out that land was another
milk and milk products to their diet. The later were very serious factor. Several households interviewed
mostly from the urban areas. The other 25.9% had a mentioned that for those who don’t have land they
low dietary diversity as they missed white roots and have to work for food. They can’t grow, neither can
tubers and milk and milk products to their diet. they afford to buy their own food and cannot therefore
determine how diversified the food that they eat should
The study also found out that, money was a very be. One of rural respondent said, “We don’t have
serious factor in improving household dietary diversity. enough land to grow all the food we want”.
That is, the more money spent on food- the better the
dietary diversity. On average, a household spends UGX Last but not least, households, especially those in the
21,484 on food a day. However, 26% of this is spent on rural are torn apart by the competing priorities. When
cereals (rice, maize and not millet), and 22% on fruits. they sell food in the market, the urgency is more on
Only 4.6% is spent on milk and milk products and 8.8% solving visible problems like paying fees and medical
on white roots and tubers. This is a case of the urban bills. Therefore, food diversification at the household
more than it was for the rural households. Only 40% of has been relegated.
the rural households can afford to spend UGX 14,000
on food. This means that, in both cases, enough effort Lastly and very important is that factor of energy in
needs to be put in to elevate those with low income, food preparation. This partly is related to the time
especially those who cannot afford spending 1.9 USD factor. Environmental degradation and the high cost
(approx. UGX 7000) a day. Surely, both urban and for fuel wood are necessitating that households plan
rural poor households may never afford to buy fish, minimally in terms of what is spent on cooking. The
meat and milk that on average will cost a household most immediate option for households is to prepare
UGX 12,000 for a kilo of meat or fish and a liter of milk a single meal a day for the family, whence lack of
a day. diversity on the food available on the plate.

The study found out that, Busoro, South Division

in Fort-Portal, Kasenda sub counties had a higher
dietary diversity (31.9%) compared to their counterpart
sub counties of; Kabonero, Kicwamba, Mugusu and
Rutete that had a low dietary diversity (25.9%).

The urban households in the study were more

associated with higher dietary diversity compared to
the rural households. The reason for this variation is
that, the rural households mostly sell their food to the
urban and leave less diversified food for themselves.

Among other reasons as in to why there is a serious

malnutrition problem in Kabarole is the fact that the
study further confirmed an earlier finding about the
lack of time (Busiinge C. Amooti et al, 2016). The study Matooke now in the region has replaced millet as a staple

4 My Village Development Magazine - “Publishing Development Stories and Challenges from Across Uganda, Africa and the World.”
Food being loaded on a pickup-truck headed to the urban area. Urban areas in Kabarole have been found to have a higher dietary diversity compared to rural

Dietary diversity in Kabarole district has been found to be lacking and needs to be stepped up to improve the marauding malnutrition challenge in the area.
Particularly missing are white roots and tubers, and Milk and Milk products.

“Publishing Development Stories and Challenges from Across Uganda, Africa and the World.” - My Village Development Magazine 5
Mr. BUSIINGE Christopher is a in the households. The results from the Food circles
will be used to replicate the innovation in other districts
development worker and a researcher.
of Western Uganda. The organisation is currently
He is the CEO of Countryside soliciting partnerships to implement this programme
Environmental Conservation - Uganda, across the region.
a development Organisation based in
Fort-Portal. Its Nsenene (Grasshoppers)
time!! Business is booming
Food Circles (FCs) to solve the
malnutrition Challenge in Western

By our reporter in Fort-Portal

CECO-Uganda, a not for profit think tank has come up
with the idea of Food Circles to solve the marauding
malnutrition challenge in Western Uganda. According
to the CECO-Uganda, Mr. BUSIINGE Christopher,
“the idea of Food circles has evolved through many
years of research on what could be done to resolve
By BUSIINGE Christopher
the under nutrition challenge. This is a scientific
Its Nsenene (Grasshoppers) time and the November
innovation that will become a global learning point for
insects are here.The streets of Fort-Portal are unusually
researchers, practitioners and the academia interested
busy this Month of November. Boda-Bodas, matatus,
in overcoming malnutrition challenges across the
buses and Lorries are all seen carrying a bag of
Nsenene somewhere.

He says, “while the region has been said to be the

No wonder the Month is known among the Batooro
food basket of East Africa, its children are stunted
and Baganda as Musenene. This gives an idea that
and too weak to learn in class. Why should this be
these insects have been in our society for centuries.
tolerated? We are feeding children of other nations
As a child growing up in the open lands of Mwenge,
and our own are not fed on diversified meals. Because
at this time of the year, I would be running around the
of these reason, we thought we should come up with
bushes collecting the insects.
an innovation that could permanently turn around the
They are indeed a delicacy among the Ugandan
community. Muzungu who taste them for the first time
According to concept paper that this magazine has
seem to become fond of them even after they have
seen, the Food circles will be piloted in Kabarole district.
gone back home. While I’m not a great fun of the
The composition of the Food circles are households
insects, I prefer to eat them when they are dry; I admit
already affected by the under nutrition challenge. The
that they are really testy. My daughter Queen who is
households will be provided with nutrition education
9 years old loves them so much to the extent that she
through a variety of multi-media platforms including
recently worried that there may not be enough Nsenene
radio and mobile phones. They will also take part in
because of too much. The month of November this
food nutrition activities organized by the organisation.
year has been too rainy. This is how far she has gone
In addition to the information, the households will also
with the Nsenene craze. She knows about a good and
be given technical assistance by a nutritionist from a
bad season for the Nsenene. It’s indeed true that when
local area public health center.
it rains a lot, the Nsenene will not be many. The older
The project of Food Circles will be implemented over a
generation knows this very well. Who told her this, I
4 year period and after which, an assessment will be
don’t know. But it shows how keen she is about these
done to determine improvement of nutrition conditions
winged insects. Even with the too much rain, it has not
stopped the insects from coming.
Some of the children who will be born this month in

6 My Village Development Magazine - “Publishing Development Stories and Challenges from Across Uganda, Africa and the World.”
Tooro might be named Kasenene for Boys. Not sure It’s obviously clear that little research has been done to
what the name for the girls will be. My great grandfather identify whether there are communities that are already
was called Kasenene. I suppose he was born in the eating insects across the world. It seems to me that,
Musenene month. Africa is indeed ahead of Europe. There are many
insects being eaten already. Apart from Nsenene,
Thinking about Musenene in the Food and nutrition in Tooro we also eat white ants (Enswa). They are
context of the region, the Nsenene are a good very nice with Akaro (Millet Bread). Unfortunately the
alternative source of proteins especially for those who millennial generation may not know about Enswa and
cannot afford to pay for beef or goat meat as a source definitely missing out on these delicious insects. In
of proteins. A kilo of goat meat in Fort-Portal is UGX Zimbabwe, Zambia and South Africa, communities
12,000 while that of beef is UGX 10,000. A 500gram there already eat insect larvae or caterpillar as they are
cup of Nsenene costs UGX 500. Besides being a called in Uganda. I remember when I was still young,
delicacy, the community is able to get cheap protein we would eat bee larvae. Not sure if I can try them
from the Insects. now. I definitely got proteins from eating these bee
larvae then. It is there important to introduce a variety
Eating insects as an alternative source of protein is an of foods to children.
emerging debate among scholars and development
practitioners in Europe. They argue that, cows are So, good people, go out there and enjoy a bite of
responsible for climate change through their emission Nsenene in this Musenene month and get yourselves
of methane gas into the atmosphere. They say insect proteins.
alternative sources of proteins should be found. Some
of the proposed alternatives include eating insects.


The Fort-Portal Farmers Expo is an annual event that brings together farmers from across the Tooro, Rwenzori and Albertine Regions. The event
that first took place in 2016 has become that one stop centre for farmers, the private sector, government, and Non-Governmental organisations,
each year come together to share experiences, market agro- products, make business linkages and find solutions to agricultural challenges. The
previous 3 expos (2016/17/18) have brought together 13,000 participants from across the agricultural chain.

The keen sponsors of this event include; Hima Cement, Uganda Development Bank, NAADS/OWC, Save the Children-Uganda, Kalya Courts Ltd,
Jubilee Radio, Voice of Tooro, KRC FM, Africell and Tooro Botanical Gardens.

“Publishing Development Stories and Challenges from Across Uganda, Africa and the World.” - My Village Development Magazine 7
8 My Village Development Magazine - “Publishing Development Stories and Challenges from Across Uganda, Africa and the World.”
His Majesty King Oyo Nyimba KabambaIguru IV with the Organisers of the Fort-Portal Farmers Expo at a recent event

King Oyo Visiting BIGLAD Stall during one of the Fort-Portal Farmers Expo. On the Extreme right is the Mr. Rugumayo Godfrey one of the
CECO-Uganda Directors.

“Publishing Development Stories and Challenges from Across Uganda, Africa and the World.” - My Village Development Magazine 9
Photo: some of the items that are exhibited at the Fort-Portal Farmers Expos

The Fort-Portal farmers’ exposition provides over change, sustainable production and Market linkages,
10,000 farmers with knowledge that will enable them to due to limited dissemination of Farming information
use and practice better farming methods, add value to and low levels of education. This information and
their produce, find markets, access latest agricultural literacy barriers similarly cause a divide along the line
technologies and find solutions to challenges posed of production, supply, marketing, financing and other
by climate change effects. major segments of Agricultural value chains.

The case for Fort-Portal Farmers’ The Fort-Portal Farmers’ Exposition is one way
Exposition to contribute to the development of the sector by
providing information sharing spaces that attempt to
fill agricultural extension service gaps to farmers in
the Tooro region and beyond. Knowledge exchange
through expositions is known to break such barriers
by providing farming information for the most ordinary
farmers (CECO-Uganda, 2016).

Fort-Portal Farmers’ Exposition is an annual event that

attracts more than 5,000 famers, manufacturers of
agro-inputs and machinery, the business community,
academia, government agencies, civil society fraternity,
corporate institutions, environmentalists, plants/animal
and human health practitioners.

Agriculture contributes about 24.5% to GDP and over The exposition seeks to tackle several aspects of the
70% of the population in Uganda is dependent on it agricultural value chain, namely; Production, Markets
for their day to day livelihood. Whereas government and Value Addition, and Financing and Consumption.
interventions to the sector including budget allocation Additionally, the Exposition presents solutions in the
(currently 3.7%) are commendable a lot more needs following sectors; Food and Nutrition insecurity, Clean
to be done to spur the growth of the sector. However, and Efficient Energy and sustainable and resilient
majority of farmers in Uganda are deprived of access Farming, agro-ecology, Waste Management, Climate
to Agricultural information and related fields like climate Change and Organic Agriculture.

10 My Village Development Magazine - “Publishing Development Stories and Challenges from Across Uganda, Africa and the World.”
• Students.
The Exposition is a good opportunity for farmers, • Financial institutions.
visitors and manufacturers to; • Academic institutions.
• Organized farmer groups.
a) Share knowledge on new technologies and • Animal and crop health practitioners.
b) It’s a good moment for farmers, the public
and agro-input dealers to exchange business The Fort-Portal Farmers
information Exposition is organized by
c) Treat visitors to good practice experience in
Country Side Environmental
the agricultural sub-sector
d) Provide a market for best technologies, animal Conservation- Uganda (CECO-
and crop breeds and Agro-Tourism products UGANDA) a not-for-profit
e) Farmers’ mobilization which can ease organization in partnership with;
knowledge sharing among them. NAADS/OWC, Uganda National
Farmers Federation (UNFFE) and
Where is the venue for the expo? the Tooro Kingdom.
Bukwali Farmers Expo Ground, along Kamwenge
Road, Fort Portal town. The next event has been
tentatively scheduled to take place in August 2019.

Who is eligible to attend?

• All crop and animal farmers (both practicing
and those intending to join the industry).
• The private sector community.
• Civil Society fraternity.

“Publishing Development Stories and Challenges from Across Uganda, Africa and the World.” - My Village Development Magazine 11
12 My Village Development Magazine - “Publishing Development Stories and Challenges from Across Uganda, Africa and the World.”
My Village Development Magazine is a publication of Countryside
Environmental Conservation-Uganda, a development Organisation
based in Fort-Portal. Our development interest is in the following
areas; Conservation, Energy and Renewables, Conflict Management,
Poverty Alleviation, Forest Resources, Climate Change, Waste
Management and Pollution, Food and Nutrition, Green skills
development, Research and Education.

Please drop us an email if you have any stories that you would like to
share with us. You never know your story could be featured in the next
issues of My Village Development Magazine. Our subsequent issues
will continue to pay attention to Food and Nutrition and we welcome
your input in the form of articles.

We are particularly looking for articles with solutions to bring down the
malnutrition challenge in Western Uganda and other parts of Uganda.

“Publishing Development Stories and Challenges from Across Uganda, Africa and the World.” - My Village Development Magazine 13
For Comments about the Stories and Articles Published in this Magazine, Please Contact the Editor;
Email: ceco.dsuganda@gmail.com or myvillagedevt@gmail.com
Tel: +256 772-452 945/ 772-610928 or Visit Our Office: Rwengoma Hill, Fort-Portal.
Send us a letter to: P. O. Box 408, Fort-Portal, Uganda.