Bulindi ZARDI is one of the nine Zonal Agricultural Research Development Institutes of the National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO). It covers seven districts: Buliisa, Hoima, Kagadi, Kakumiro, Kibaale, Kiryandongo, and Masindi. It falls in the mid-north western Uganda with a total land area of 17,579 km2 with total population of 2,203,600 (UBOS 2016). The zone receives bimodal rainfall ranging from 800 – 1500 mm per annum. Temperatures are moderate ranging from 18 - 300C with the hottest spot lying in the Rift Valley to the West. The region has undergone substantial tectonic movements and thick sediments have been deposited especially in the Albertine graben. The sediments are predominantly sandstones, siltstones, clay stones and shales. Soils are ferralitic and generally acidic. Vegetation is characterized by forest, savannah, grassland, woodlands, riverine forests and swamps. The zone is rich in water resources that include Lake Albert; Rivers Nkusi, Wambabya, Hoima and Waaki drain into River Nile. Kafu River on the other hand drains into Lake Kyoga and ultimately into the Nile.
The area has some of the best tourism sites in Uganda, rich in biodiversity that include some of the largest forest reserves (Budongo and Bugoma) and Murchison Falls National Park. Murchison Falls National Park alone is home to over 76 mammal species (including the big five i.e. lions, elephants, buffalos, leopards, and rhinoceros – also sighted together with hippos, hartebeests, giraffes, the Uganda Kobs, oribis, and chimpanzees) and 450 bird species. Other game reserves include Karuma, Kafu, Bugungu and Kabwooya. The zone is endowed with favourable geological conditions associated with rich and diverse mineral resources and substantial economic potential e.g. gold in River Kafu, salt in Kibiro Hot Springs, oil and gas in Albertine Rift and calcium bentonite in Hoima.
Economic activities in the area include farming, livestock, forestry, mining, fisheries, tourism, and oil and gas exploration. The commodity enterprises include maize, sugarcane, coffee, cotton, tea, cocoa and upland rice, among others.
SLM challenges include land degradation through soil erosion, deforestation and charcoal burning, pests and diseases, habitat loss leading to biodiversity loss, and poor waste disposal from oil and gas exploration.
• Minerals like calcium bentonite for sustainable agricultural production.
• Commercially viable petroleum resources in the Albertine Graben.
• The zone has a rich renewable energy resource base e.g. Kabalega power production.
• Murchison Falls National Park has a huge potential to generate revenue for the country.
• More agricultural opportunities include largest maize growing region and sugarcane factories.
Recommendations: Make calcium bentonite commercially viable for sustainable agricultural production and mainstream SLM technologies into maize enterprise for sustainable production.
• Operation Wealth Creation
• Local governments
• Green Charcoal Project
• Mr. Richard Nyenje – SLM specialist Bulindi ZARDI 0787451967 firstname.lastname@example.org
• Director of Research Bulindi ZARDI email@example.com