Subsistence Farming

Agriculture is the backbone of Uganda's economy, with nine out of ten Ugandans making a living out of it.

Most of these farmers depend upon their own work, the work of their families and the use of primitive tools. They save their seeds from one year to the next, use little or no fertiliser and no chemicals to protect their crops from pests.

The yield from the land of these farmers is generally very small and varies greatly from one year to the next. Even when there is a good harvest it is difficult to store the surplus or to take it to market to be sold, as roads and transport are usually poor or non-existent. This pattern of farming is known as subsistence farming.

So if one year is particularly bad and a harvest fails due to flooding or drought or such like, then where does the farmer get the money from to buy new seed? This means many of Uganda's people are caught in the poverty cycle. This cycle is very easy to fall into, it is increasingly difficult to break out of.

This cycle shows that it begins with a poor individual and ends up with the individual still poor, the reality is that the individual gets poorer and a downward cycle begins.

Programme ideas

1. Hold a discussion on how to break the poverty cycle.

From the result of your discussion, decide what the developed world can offer developing countries, to help break the poverty cycle.

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