Food security is a key aspect of human development. The present article explores the shortcomings of agricultural interventions in two districts in eastern Uganda. Our study shows that these interventions have achieved only minor successes in relieving rural poverty and strengthening food security. Programmes that support prominent farmers with the aim of commercial development are unlikely to touch the poor. Food insecurity is related to the gendered division of agricultural work, control of cash income and the cycle of planting, harvest and crop sales for poor farmers. The present article recommends a set of effective subsistence-based strategies for poor farmers with an emphasis on the interests of women.
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