Rakai District, in South Central Uganda, is predominantly agricultural, and people living here derive their livelihoods largely from crops, livestock and natural resources. A baseline household-level survey, led by the Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security Consortium Research Program1 (CCAFS) was undertaken in late 2010, aimed at describing the characteristics of farming systems and better understanding how they have changed over time. It also gathered information on the socio-economic and demographic characteristics of these farming households, basic livelihood and welfare indicators, agriculture and natural resources management practices and strategies, access to and use of climate and agricultural-related information, and current risk management, mitigation and adaptation practices. Randomly selected households were the units of analysis and a face-to-face questionnaire was the primary tool that was used for data collection.
Findings from this baseline household study reveal that Rakai farms are diversified, with most households producing and consuming a wide range of food crops. Two-thirds of households sell some of the food crops they produce. Three-quarters of households also produce a cash crop (typically coffee). Various fruits and vegetables are also produced. Eighty percent of households have small livestock (sheep, goats, chickens or pigs), and one-fifth own cattle. Farmers have been making changes to their farming practices over the last 10 years in Rakai, and these changes and the reasons behind them are explored in this report.