Guardian Newspaper’s ‘Katine Project’ Highlights Importance of Agriculture in Africa

For the past 18 months, the UK’s Guardian newspaper has been tracking the development work going on in one Ugandan village called Katine in what it plans to be a three-year project.

The Katine project focuses on five key areas (education, health, water, governance, and livelihoods), all of which influence and are influenced quite directly by agriculture.

The role that agriculture plays in shaping development outcomes for the Katine villagers has already been highlighted in a number of articles, for instance:

– Video: Growing New Strains of Cassava to Improve Livelihoods

In recent years, [cassava] crops have been devastated by viruses leading to two years of severely reduced harvests…’The old cassava used to be affected by diseases.  It used to rot quickly from disease and also it used to take a long time to fully mature.

– Article: Are Big Farms the key to African Development?

as the demand for food and jobs expands exponentially, the question is less whether big farms are necessary to making a country’s food secure than how to get there as equitably as possible.

These two eamples highlight the need to build local access, protect harvests, enable access to markets, and prioritise research imperatives.  This project also aims to help the villagers in Katine get their voices heard by those who might otherwise have little access to their perspectives.  Sharing knowledge and experiences like this is also a key aspect of the Farming First plan.

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