This paper reports an analysis of agriculturally based livelihoods in Uganda carried
out as part of the LADDER research project1
. Research activities took place in Jan to
May 2001 in and three districts in central and eastern Uganda: Mubende, Kamuli and
Mbale. The focus of the research is on agents of change in rural livelihoods, in
particular the role of local and national level policies and institutions in facilitating or
blocking the efforts of rural people to find their own routes out of poverty.
There is a paradox apparent in high potential agricultural areas and there are many of
these in Uganda. Though high potential and productive there are typically high
population densities in these areas associated with a high degree of land fragmentation.
In hillside areas particularly, the move towards more intensive cultivation and cropping
is leading to severe land degradation and yield declines. Thus, despite the inherent
potential of the land, a high proportion of farming households are land-constrained and
resource poor as a consequence.