I am recycling this message to once again emphasize that the uncertainty of national food supply (“food insecurity”) is a function of over-reliance on the peasant mode of production. The peasant mode of production has now reached its elastic limit and recurrent famine is clear testimony to that fact. The country must find the final solution to the peasant question. That population explosion bogey we keep resorting to whenever we come face-to-face with the limits of subsistence agriculture is sterile.
Uganda’s principle problem now is that it is experiencing an explosion of a population of elite that is mainly made up of part-time thinkers.
These were my words a few weeks ago:
1/6 An average person feeding on grains, legumes, vegetables and common meats requires about 300 Sq Metres of land to provide for his food requirements if the calorific consumption per day is the minimum requirement for a human being, i.e., about 2,600 calories per day; and assuming that there are 3 harvests per annum on that land.
2/6 An average human being requires at least 715 square metres of dwelling space at maximum dwelling density, this being the average amount of space per person in the great New York area.
3/6 Uganda has up to 5.2 million Hectares of arable land, that is, 13 million acres or 52 billion square meters. For the current population of 30 million, the optimum arable land one would expect to be used for food production, (assuming an average Ugandan consumes 2,500 calories of food per day – which he does not) is 18 billion square metres (30,000,000 x 300).
4/6 The amount of space that used for living is 2.15 billion sq M (30, 000,000 x 715) giving a total of 20.15 Billion Sq M that we would currently utilise if every Ugandan was taking up the maximum optimum living space (OLS) and consuming the recommended daily allowance of calories.
5/6 Therefore, out of our 52 Billion sq M, we are theoretically “using” only 38.75%. Basing on that computation, Uganda’s maximum carrying capacity is at least 77.42 million, which at the current rate of population increase shall be attained at 23:47 Hrs on 17 September 2036.
6/6 Note that, although we claim to be agricultural, our productivity is still abysmal. Kenya has only 4.6 million Hectares of land and they are able to add value agriculturally to the tune of $1,600 million per annum, compared to Uganda with 5.2 million hectares but adding value only to the tune of $574 million. Uganda’s value addition rate is about 36% that of Kenya. The difference can be attributed largely to Uganda’s peasant mode of production.
Lance Corporal (Rtd) Otto Patrick