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Scale variability of water, land, and energy resource interactions and their influence on the food system in Uganda

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Fenner, RA 


Despite efforts to achieve food security in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) since the 1970's, food insufficiency continues to plague the region. As of 2014 more than a fifth of Sub-Saharan Africa's population - remain food insecure according to the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO). The food security challenges in Sub-Saharan Africa are linked to economic, agro-ecological, technological/agronomic, institutional and related factors. These causes however overlay complex interactions and constraints within the key physical resources of Water Land and Energy (WLE), which are necessary for food production, processing, distribution and consumption. The relationship between the WLE interactions and the performance of SSA's food systems, and the impacts of interventions at different scales are not yet fully understood, particularly in light of the need to maintain essential ecosystem services.

This study employs an integrated multi-scale Food System resource analysis approach to examine Uganda's WLE resource constraints vis-à-vis 2012 and 2050 agricultural resource demand at national, district and local scales, as a test case for Sub-Saharan Africa. The analysis identifies where the competing WLE resource constraints are and the variations from local (sub-county), regional, to national scale so that potential policy interventions can be appropriately targeted. The approach involves a combination of geo-spatial analysis, calorific-demand analysis and Source-to-Service resource transformation modelling. The results are visualised using coupled Sankey diagrams and resource stress maps. The analysis reveals the current competing demands and constraints at different scales, and helps to identify key resource intervention areas to resolve resource stress in Uganda's food system. The inferences highlight variations in the significance of resource stress at different analytical resolutions and constraints at different locations for the WLE resources. Overall, the analysis helps to inform food security policy and the resource context for the present and future management of Uganda’s food system.



Food Security, Resource Demand Analysis, Sub-Saharan Africa, Water-Land-Energy Nexus, Multi-scale modelling, Resource Sustainability

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Sustainable Production and Consumption

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Elsevier BV