International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Bee Farmers’ Perceptions on the Effects of Rainfall Variability in Kamwenge District- Western Uganda
Fredrick Ruguma TUMWINE, Hosea OPEDES, IsaacMUGUME

This paper characterizes rainfall variability in Kamwenge district, establishes its implications on farmers’ livelihoods and suggests possible coping strategies. The main source of data for the paper was derived from a survey that was conducted in Kamwenge district in January 2017. Comprehensive questionnaires were used in data collection from household farmers. A total of 312 respondents (156 males and 156 females) were purposively selected and interviewed. The respondents were sampled from three sub-counties of Kibale and Kitagwenda counties namely Busiriba and Bihanga and Ntara respectively. Additionally, the study conducted Six Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) and 12 Key Informants who provided additional detailed information. Content analysis was carried out on qualitative data to draw themes. The primary data was supplemented with, historical meteorological datathat was accessed from Uganda National Meteorological Authority (UNMA) and statistical abstracts from Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS). Results show that rainfall has significantly reduced in amount, delays to begin and cessation is significantly early. As a result, drought is a common phenomenon leading to loss of crops, increase in prevalence of pests and diseases and therefore keeping farmers in poverty. Coping strategies proposed include: afforestation, agroforestry, environmental conservation, establishment of dams to conserve water for livestock and irrigation of crops. The paper recommends that the district should encourage afforestation, environmental conservation and agroforestry while emphasizing bee farming. Trees should be planted on the boundaries of banana gardens as wind brakes and government should accelerate hydropower grid connection to reduce dependency on charcoal as cooking source of energy.

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