The Political Economy of Local Food System Governance: Impacts on climate-vulnerable communities in the Lake Victoria border region


Start date: 1 April, 2024 End date: 31 March, 2029 Project type: Research projects in countries with extended development cooperation (earlier Window 1) Project code: 24-11-AU Countries: Tanzania Uganda Thematic areas: Agricultural production, Food security and safety, State building, governance and civil society, Lead institution: Aarhus University (AU), Denmark Partner institutions: Research on Poverty Alleviation (REPOA), Tanzania Kabale University (KAB), Uganda Project coordinator: Anne Mette Kjær Total grant: 9,998,014 DKK

Project summary

The local communities in the Lake Victoria region in Eastern Africa are negatively experiencing climate changes in many ways. Warmer temperatures and increased rainfall threaten their livelihoods. Communities in this region have to adjust to these changes in different ways so as to secure access to food and livelihoods. For instance, they may need to shift to different crops or learn about new measures to combat plant and animal diseases. Communities, who are vulnerable to climate change in multiple ways, need government authorities to promote resilience in the local food systems in ways that can help them deal with these new challenges. For example, small-scale farmers need advice on crop production and disease management, and small-scale traders in areas need context-sensitive regulation in the face of rising commodity prices resulting from food and crop shortages. However, we know very little about whether and how local government authorities in this region are able to address these challenges or the extent to which local communities feel they have a say, and are able to voice their needs and demands in local implementation processes of food system policies.

Focusing on the Lake Victoria border region between Uganda and Tanzania, the overall purpose of this proposed research project is, therefore, to comparatively study the effects of local food system governance (policies, decisions, and implementation processes) on the food and livelihood security of the region's climate vulnerable communities. Doing so, we map the decisions and policies affecting food and livelihood security in the region to understand the political economy of local food system governance on each side of the border. We also study the lived experienced and perceptions of food and livelihood security and local food system governance among climate vulnerable communities in districts on each side of the border. In this way, we will be able to understand whether, why and how different local authorities, embedded in different national political systems in Tanzania and Uganda, are able to address (or fail to address) food and livelihood insecurity that local communities face due to climate change.

This research advances our understanding of how vulnerable communities are affected by climate change, how local governments can address these challenges, and what can be done to promote food and livelihood security in a region with one of the highest population growth rates in the world.

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