The link between agroecology and adoption of soil erosion control in local discourses
Thaddeo Tibasiima Kahigwa1, Deous Mary Ekyaligonza1, Bosco Bwambale2
1University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU), Division of Organic Farming, Austria
Agroecological approaches have been recommended for providing context-specific solutions since they consort the socioeconomic and ecological constraints among farming communities. This study is the first attempt to conceptualise agroecology in the context of the challenge with the adoption of soil erosion control measures. Through a qualitative design (using interviews and focus group discussions), we explore a case of smallholder farmers producing Coffea arabica on the Rwenzori mountain highlands in Uganda. Here, adoption of soil erosion control measures remains a challenge despite the increasing efforts through conventional agricultural advisory services. We contrast the elements of agroecology with the discourses among the actor to identify if it would provide a panacea for sustainable adoption of soil erosion control measures. Our results indicate that sustainable soil erosion control can be hitched on the agroecology elements broadly categorised under; (1) participatory development of appropriate (efficient, diverse and recyclable) soil erosion control measures, (2) clear roles for the different actors to concurrently implement soil erosion control processes (synergies, resilience and respect for culture and food traditions) (3) Strategies for enabling sustainable adoption of soil erosion control measures (co-creation and sharing of knowledge, human and social values, responsible governance, circular and solidarity economy).
Keywords: Agroecological elements, Coffea arabica, discourse analysis, Rwenzori, smallholder farmer, soil erosion, sustainable adoption
Contact Address: Thaddeo Tibasiima Kahigwa, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU), Division of Organic Farming, Gregor-Mendel-Straße 33, Vienna, Austria, e-mail: thaddeo.tibasiimastudents.boku.ac.at