Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Losing wetlands to grow crops

Date:
March 25, 2013
Source:
BioMed Central Limited
Summary:
Getting enough to eat is a basic human need – but at what cost to the environment? New research demonstrates that as their crops on higher ground fail due to unreliable rainfall, people in countries like Uganda are increasingly relocating to wetland areas. Unless the needs of these people are addressed in a more sustainable way, overuse of wetland resources through farming, fishing, and hunting will continue.

Getting enough to eat is a basic human need -- but at what cost to the environment? Research published in BioMed Central's journal Agriculture & Food Security demonstrates that as their crops on higher ground fail due to unreliable rainfall, people in countries like Uganda are increasingly relocating to wetland areas. Unless the needs of these people are addressed in a more sustainable way, overuse of wetland resources through farming, fishing, and hunting will continue.

In 2009 it was estimated that about a third of Uganda's wetlands had been lost to growing crops and grazing. While the environmental significance of wetland loss is important, so are National Food Security targets and the Millennium Development Goal of halving the number of people who suffer from hunger by 2015. In order to evaluate how people are using the wetlands researchers from Makerere University, Uganda, with financial support from IDRC surveyed residents living in either Lake Victoria crescent, Kyoga plains, and South Western farmlands.

The survey revealed that more than 80% of people in these areas use wetland resources including collecting water, catching fish, hunting bush meat (Sitatunga, a type of antelope, and wild rat), and harvesting wild fruits and vegetables. Some of these they consume but others they sell in order to be able to buy food. Over half admitted to growing crops in the nutrient rich soil wetlands with its ready water supply. The families who were most likely to use the wetlands in this way were the ones who had the least access to other sources of food.

The locals blame their bad harvests on global warming, and as global weather systems change this can only get worse. Dr Nelson Turyahabwe explained, "Food insecurity is a real problem across the world. In Uganda the families most at risk tended to have younger or female household heads, or were less educated. Large families were also at high risk of not having enough to eat. In these cases use of wetlands allows families to survive. In designing sustainable use policies for wetlands the needs of humans also needs to be considered."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BioMed Central Limited. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Nelson Turyahabwe, Willy Kakuru, Manson Tweheyo and David Mwesigye Tumusiime. Contribution of wetland resources to household food security in Uganda. Agriculture & Food Security, 2013; DOI: 10.1186/2048-7010-2-5

Cite This Page:

BioMed Central Limited. "Losing wetlands to grow crops." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 March 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130324201817.htm>.
BioMed Central Limited. (2013, March 25). Losing wetlands to grow crops. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130324201817.htm
BioMed Central Limited. "Losing wetlands to grow crops." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130324201817.htm (accessed April 23, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Monkeys Are Better At Math Than We Thought, Study Shows

Monkeys Are Better At Math Than We Thought, Study Shows

Newsy (Apr. 23, 2014) A Harvard University study suggests monkeys can use symbols to perform basic math calculations. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India

Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) A leopard caused panic in the city of Chandrapur on Monday when it sprung from the roof of a house and charged at rescue workers. (April 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs

Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) Drake University hosts 35th annual Beautiful Bulldog Contest. (April 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
805-Pound Shark Caught Off The Coast Of Florida

805-Pound Shark Caught Off The Coast Of Florida

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) One Florida fisherman caught a 805-pound shark off the coast of Florida earlier this month. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins