Hostname: page-component-848d4c4894-wzw2p Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-05-29T23:47:11.144Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

Organic agriculture in post-war Uganda: emergence of pioneer-led niches between 1986 and 1993

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 June 2016

Michael Hauser*
Affiliation:
Centre for Development Research, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria.
Mara Lindtner
Affiliation:
Centre for Development Research, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria.
*
*Corresponding author: Michael.hauser@boku.ac.at

Abstract

Uganda is the largest producer of organic commodities in Africa. While most of the literature associate the start of organic agriculture in Uganda with the first certified project, no accounts exist about non-certified organic agriculture before 1993. Both in Europe and in the USA, pioneers drove non-certified organic agriculture as a response to economic, ecological and social crises. Uganda suffered two decades of civil war ending in 1986 causing multiple crises. We explore how post-war conditions influenced the emergence of organic agriculture in Uganda. We conducted individual semi-structured interviews with 12 organic agriculture experts from Central and Southwestern Uganda. Interviews were held in English using interview guides informed by a transition theoretical perspective. Interviews were tape-recorded, transcribed and analyzed using deductive and inductive coding. Our analysis shows that the degraded environment, food insecurity and economic instability after the war created a sense of urgency for the rehabilitation of livelihoods. Pioneers, including civil society activists, farmers, entrepreneurs and researchers, responded by promoting low-cost, resource-conserving technologies and agronomic practices to smallholder farmers. Economic liberalization, decentralization and institutional vacuum eased pioneers’ activities, despite facing opponents from the government and research. Through experimental learning, demonstration farms and cooperation with the Catholic Church, public extension services, researchers and international development-oriented non-governmental organizations, pioneers reached out to farmers in Eastern, Central and Southwestern Uganda. As challenging as post-war crises may be, they offer opportunities for changing development trajectories. Therefore, reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts can accommodate sustainability concerns and allow the introduction of course-changing measures in any sector.

Type
Research Papers
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2016 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Altieri, M.A. and Toledo, V.M. 2011. The agroecological revolution in Latin America: Rescuing nature, ensuring food sovereignty and empowering peasants. Journal of Peasant Studies 38:587612.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Angura, T.O. 1993. Food Systems under Stress: The Uganda Situation. Makerere University, Uganda.Google Scholar
Armesto, M.S. and Hernández, A.J. 2006. La agricultura ecológica en Perú: Historia, actores involucrados y análisis de proyectos. Presented at VII Congreso SEAE Zaragoza. Available at Web site http://www.agroecologia.net/recursos/publicaciones/publicaciones-online/2006/CD%20Congreso%20Zaragoza/Ponencias/29%20Armesto%20Com-%20La%20agricultura.pdf (verified 25 March 2016).Google Scholar
Bahiigwa, G., Rigby, D., and Woodhouse, P. 2005. Right target, wrong mechanism? Agricultural modernization and poverty reduction in Uganda. World Development 33:481496.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bandura, A. 2004. Swimming against the mainstream: The early years from chilly tributary to transformative mainstream. Behaviour Research and Therapy 42:613630.Google Scholar
Byrne, S. and Klem, B. 2015. Constructing legitimacy in post-war transition: The return of “normal” politics in Nepal and Sri Lanka? Geoforum 66:224233.Google Scholar
Crucefix, D. 1998. Organic Agriculture and Sustainable Rural Livelihoods in Developing Countries. Soil Association, Bristol, UK.Google Scholar
Darnhofer, I. 2014. Farming Transitions: Pathways Towards Regional Sustainability of Agriculture in Europe. Boku—University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria.Google Scholar
Davidson, D.J., Jones, K.E., and Parkins, J.R. 2015. Food safety risks, disruptive events and alternative beef production: A case study of agricultural transition in Alberta. Agriculture and Human Values. doi: 10.1007/s10460-015-9609-8.Google Scholar
Egulu, B. and Ebanyat, P. 2000. Policy processes in Uganda and their impact on soil fertility. Managing Africa's Soils (16). IIED, London. Available at Web site http://pubs.iied.org/pdfs/X175IIED.pdf (verified 25 March 2016).Google Scholar
FAO 2015. Uganda—Land Use. Available at Web site http://faostat3.fao.org/browse/area/226/E (verified 6 October 2015).Google Scholar
FIBL and IFOAM 2015. The World of organic agriculture. In Willer, H. & Lernoud, J. (eds.). Statistics and Emerging Trends 2015. FIBL and IFOAM, Frick, Switzerland and Bonn, Germany.Google Scholar
Forss, K. and Sterky, E. 2000. Export Promotion of Organic Products from Africa. Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), Stockholm, Sweden.Google Scholar
Funes, F. 2002. The organic farming movement in Cuba. In Funes, F. (ed.). Sustainable Agriculture and Resistance. Food First Books, Texas, TX, p. 126.Google Scholar
Geels, F.W. 2002. Technological transitions as evolutionary reconfiguration processes: A multi-level perspective and a case-study. Research Policy 31:12571274.Google Scholar
Geels, F.W. 2005. The dynamics of transitions in socio-technical systems: A multi-level analysis of the transition pathway from horse-drawn carriages to automobiles. Technology Analysis & Strategic Management 17:445476.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Geels, F.W. 2011. The multi-level perspective on sustainability transitions: Responses to seven criticisms. Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions 1:2440.Google Scholar
Genus, A. and Coles, A.-M. 2008. Rethinking the multi-level perspective of technological transitions. Research Policy 37:14361445.Google Scholar
Gibbon, P. 2006. An Overview of the Certified Organic Export Sector in Uganda. Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS), Copenhagen, Denmark.Google Scholar
Gibbon, P. and Ponte, S. 2005. Trading Down. Africa, Value Chains, and the Global Economy. Temple University Press, Philadelphia, PA.Google Scholar
Green, R.H. 1995. Strategic Approaches to Post-War Economic Reconstruction and Livelihood Rehabilitation in Sub-Saharan Africa. University of Sussex, Brighton, UK.Google Scholar
Green, R.H. 2000. Rehabilitation after armed conflict. Presented at Development Studies Association Conference. SOAS University of London, London, UK. Available at Web site http://opendocs.ids.ac.uk/opendocs/bitstream/handle/123456789/6161/rg481.pdf?sequence=1 (verified 25 March 2016).Google Scholar
Guthman, J. 2004. Agrarian Dreams: The Paradox of Organic Farming in California. University of California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles, California.Google Scholar
Hargreaves, T., Hielscher, S., Seyfang, G., and Smith, A. 2013. Grassroots innovations in community energy: The role of intermediaries in niche development. Global Environmental Change 23:868880.Google Scholar
Heckman, J. 2006. A history of organic farming: Transitions from Sir Albert Howard's War in the Soil to USDA National Organic Program. Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems 21:143150.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hermans, F., Stuiver, M., Beers, P.J., and Kok, K. 2013. The distribution of roles and functions for upscaling and outscaling innovations in agricultural innovation systems. Agricultural Systems 115:117128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
IFOAM 2016. Principles of Organic Agriculture. Available at Web site http://www.ifoam.bio/sites/default/files/poa_english_web.pdf (verified 25 February 2016).Google Scholar
Kemp, R., Schot, J., and Hoogma, R. 1998. Regime shifts to sustainability through processes of niche formation: The approach of strategic niche management. Technology Analysis & Strategic Management 10:175198.Google Scholar
Kern, F. and Smith, A. 2007. Sussex Energy Group Restructuring Energy Systems for Sustainability? Energy Transition Policy in the Netherlands. University of Sussex, Brighton, UK.Google Scholar
Kidd, A., Tulip, A., and Walaga, C. 2001. Benefits of globalisation for poor farmers. A Story of Organic Produce Exports from Uganda. BeraterInnen News 2:2531.Google Scholar
Lachman, D.A. 2013. A survey and review of approaches to study transitions. Energy Policy 58:269276.Google Scholar
Lockeretz, W. 2007. What explains the rise of organic farming. In Lockeretz, W. (ed.). Organic Farming—An International History. CAB International, Wallingford, UK, pp. 18.Google Scholar
Malchow, M., Rohland, M., Wilkens, M., Buhl, N., Holthey, L., Jacob-funck, J., Klindworth, K., Knieling, J., Lesem, C., Matinyan, H., and Mutzek, V. 2015. Transition pioneers – urban planners as a source of momentum for sustainable cities and regions? In Schrenk, M. et al. (eds.). REAL CORP Tagungsband. Ghent, Belgium.Google Scholar
Maxwell, D., Levin, C., and Csete, J. 1999. Does urban agriculture help prevent malnutrition? Evidence from Kampala. Food Policy 23:411424.Google Scholar
Morrissey, J.E., Mirosa, M., and Abbott, M. 2013. Identifying transition capacity for agri-food regimes: Application of the multi-level perspective for strategic mapping. Journal of Environmental Policy & Planning 16:281301.Google Scholar
Muchena, F.N. and Kiome, R.M. 1995. The role of soil science in agricultural development in East Africa. Geoderma 67:141157.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Nycander, G.A. 2000. Securing Access to the EU Market. Organic Exports from Developing Countries. Case Study on Uganda. Report written for the Swedish International Development Authority (SIDA), Stockholm, Sweden.Google Scholar
Padel, S. 2001. Conversion to organic farming: A typical example of the diffusion of an innovation? Sociologia Ruralis 41:4061.Google Scholar
Pali, P.N., Freyer, B., Kaaria, S.K., and Delve, R.J. 2007. Human Capacity Development for Income Generation and Organic Market Linkages in Uganda. In Wissenschaftstagung Ökologischer Landbau. Organic Eprints.Google Scholar
Parnwell, M.J.G. 2005. The power to change: Rebuilding sustainable livelihoods in North-East Thailand. Journal of Transdisciplinary Environmental Studies 4:121.Google Scholar
Parrott, N. and Van Elzakker, B. 2003. Organic and like-minded movements in Africa. Development and status. IFOAM, Imsbach, Germany.Google Scholar
Paull, J. 2008. The lost history of organic farming in Australia. Journal of Organic Systems 3:217.Google Scholar
Raven, R.P.J.M. 2006. Towards alternative trajectories? Reconfigurations in the Dutch electricity regime. Research Policy 35:581595.Google Scholar
Raven, R., Van Den Bosch, S., and Weterings, R. 2010. Transitions and strategic niche management: Towards a competence kit for practitioners. International Journal of Technology Management 51:5774.Google Scholar
Raynolds, L.T. 1997. Restructuring national agriculture, agro-food trade, and agrarian livelihoods in the Caribbean. In D. Goodman & M. J. Watts (eds.). Globalising Food: Agrarian Questions and Global Restructuring. Routledge, Abingdon.Google Scholar
Raynolds, L.T. 2000. Re-embedding global agriculture: The international organic and fair trade movements. Agriculture and Human Values 17:297309.Google Scholar
Reinikka, R. and Mackinnon, J. 2000. Lessons from Uganda on Strategies to Fight Poverty. World Bank, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
Rogers, E.M. 1995. Diffussion of Innovations. 4th ed. Free Press, New York, NY.Google Scholar
Schot, J. and Geels, F.W. 2008. Strategic niche management and sustainable innovation journeys: Theory, findings, research agenda, and policy. Technology Analysis & Strategic Management 20:537554.Google Scholar
Sligh, M. and Cierpka, T. 2007. Organic Values. In Lockeretz, W. (ed.). Organic Farming—An International History. CAB International, Wallingford, UK, pp. 3039.Google Scholar
Ssebunya, B. 2006. Experiences with the use of “Organic” as a development model. In Sigsgaard, L. & Jensen, H.H. (eds.). Organic Agriculture in Development—The Need for Integrated Production for Food Security. University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.Google Scholar
Strauss, A.C. and Corbin, J. 1998. Basics of Qualitative Research. Techniques and Procedures for Developing Grounded Theory. 2nd ed. Sage Publications, London.Google Scholar
Taylor, A. 2006. Overview of the Current State of Organic Agriculture in Kenya, Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania and the Opportunities for Regional Harmonization. United Nations, New York, NY and Geneva, Switzerland.Google Scholar
Transition Academy 2015. What are transitions? Available at Web site http://transitionacademy.nl/transitions/what-are-transitions/ (verified 9 June 2015).Google Scholar
Uganda Bureau of Statistics 2014. Statistical Abstract, Kampala, Uganda.Google Scholar
Van Eijck, J. and Romijn, H. 2008. Prospects for Jatropha biofuels in Tanzania: An analysis with strategic niche management. Energy Policy 36:311325.Google Scholar
Van Elzakker, B. and Leijdens, M. 2000. Not Aid but Trade: Export of Organic Products from Africa. AGRO ECO Consultancy, Bennekom, Netherlands.Google Scholar
Van Mierlo, B., Leeuwis, C., Smits, R., and Klein Woolthuis, R. 2010. Change learning towards system innovation: Evaluating a systemic instrument. Technological Forecasting & Social Change 77:318334.Google Scholar
Vogt, C. 2007. The origins of organic farming. In Lockeretz, W. (ed.). Organic Farming—An International History. CAB International, Wallingford, UK, pp. 929.Google Scholar
Vogl, C.R. and Darnhofer, I. 2004. Organic agriculture in Austria. Country Focus (34):25.Google Scholar
Wallace, I. 1997. Agricultural education at the crossroads: Present dilemmas and possible options for the future in Sub-Saharan Africa. International Journal of Educational Development 17:2739.Google Scholar
WBGU 2011. World in Transition. A Social Contract for Sustainability. German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU), Berlin, Germany.Google Scholar
Willer, H. and Yussefi, M. 2000. Ökologische Agrarkultur weltweit Organic Agriculture World-Wide. Stiftung Ökologie und Landbau, Bad Dürkheim, Germany.Google Scholar
Witkamp, M.J., Raven, R.P.J.M., and Royakkers, L.M.M. 2011. Strategic niche management of social innovations: The case of social entrepreneurship. Technology Analysis & Strategic Management 23:667681.Google Scholar