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Research, Policy and Practice

Table 4 Differences in perceptions of CCS among pastoral and agro-pastoral communities

From: Characterising food insecurity in pastoral and agro-pastoral communities in Uganda using a consumption coping strategy index

Coping strategy Agro-pastoral community Pastoral community
Beg for food from a friend or relative Ranked moderate - 3 Ranked extreme - 5
  Reason: Households do this when food crops are available in the garden but not ready to harvest - when there was a relative who had food and one could beg and get some, at least the situation was not too bad Reason: Pastoralists do not grow food crops; thus, it is almost unheard of for one to beg for food from another. When this happens, the situation must be extremely bad. A participant in a men-only group in Kamusenene B, Buwana Parish, Nakaseke District stressed this, saying: ‘We don’t do that because we don’t grow crops – so what will you get when you beg from a friend? During drought we all do not have milk, so one can only borrow from a shop not from a friend’
Provide labour for income to buy food instead of preparing own fields Ranked extreme - 6 Ranked moderate - 3
  Reason: Own food crop growing is a priority for most households, so one which opted to labour elsewhere had to be in a desperate position of no food or very limited space to grow crops. A male participant (July 2012) in Kalyakoti mixed youth FGD, Wampiti Parish, Nakasongola District, emphasised thus: ‘This is done in extreme conditions because, normally when you labour for five days, the income you get can purchase food enough for only 2 days’ Reason: Many households do not own crop fields and after tending their animals may have time to provide labour for extra income to buy food, but the situation is not really desperate. A participant (July 2012) in a men-only group in Kamusenene B, Nakaseke District explained: ‘Someone may do this because he has some immediate needs not yet met, but not that the circumstances are very bad’
Harvest immature crops Ranked mild - 1 Ranked extreme - 5
Reason: Best expressed by a participant in a women-only group (July 2012) in Matabi Village Kamuli Musaale Parish as: ‘..at least that household even has food crops but may only have been caught up in a temporary situation of immediate need of food’ Reason: Emphasised by a participant in a men-only group (July 2012) in Kamusenene B village, Nakaseke District as: ‘..livestock keepers are not cultivators, those who decide to grow food only harvest mature crops which are delicious enough to eat. If one harvests immature crops then they can’t afford to buy food so are facing extreme circumstances of lack of food’
Slaughter livestock and preserve meat Ranked mild - 1 Ranked extreme - 5
  Reason: Best stressed by a male participant of a mixed youth group (July 2012) in Kalyakoti village, Wampiti Parish, Nakasongola District, who argued thus: ‘If one has an animal to slaughter and can even decide to keep some of the meat it means they have something’. Reason: Pastoral households have small stock especially goats which could be slaughtered whenever needed so one who preserved meat for the future had to be in an extremely desperate situation. One participant in a men-only group (July 2012) in Kamusenene B village, Nakaseke District said: ‘We do not have the practice of storing dried meat. We can slaughter a sheep or goat at any time – not only during food insecure times’.