Dorothy Birungi Namuyiga

Research themes
  • Land use and food security
  • Environmental and climate change
  • Sustainable use of natural resources
  • Agriculture, land use, climate change
Research countries
  • Kenya
  • Tanzania
  • Uganda
Professional experience

Research Scientist at the National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO-Uganda)

Researcher at the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT-Uganda)


Collaborative Msc. Agricultural and Applied Economics-CMAAE (2012-2015)

Bachelor of Agribusiness Management (2007-2011)

Research affiliation

The Right Livelihood College (RLC)

National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO)-Uganda


Thesis title

Agro-ecological intensification in perennial mixed farming systems for sustainable food and livelihood security in Uganda

Thesis abstract


Achieving food security worldwide remains a key challenge that must be achieved without compromising social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainable development. Worse still, the worlds’ natural resources are getting depleted at a distressing rate, yet climate change is providing further challenges to humanity. There is a consensus that current approaches to agricultural intensification have got to emulate the natural ecosystems if the next generations are to be fed sustainably. Uganda is an agrarian-dependent economy with over 70% of the population employed within the sector and over 20% sectoral contribution to gross domestic product. Nevertheless, there are several challenges including but not limited to increasing land degradation, land fragmentation, increasing population and the high impacts of climate change. Majority of the farmers are smallholders practicing seasonal/annual monoculture cropping systems that are more detrimental to the soil and ecosystems at large.

Perennial crops are often said to provide several socio-economic and ecological benefits compared to the annual crops including; low soil erosion, save labor and seed. This study proposes to critically investigate these claims within perennial smallholders’ mixed farming systems in Uganda applying interdisciplinary and participatory approaches. Adapting a revised version of Ostrom’s socio-ecological systems framework, the study seeks to understand the role and contribution of traditional perennial crops for example pigeon pea, and “newly” introduced perennial crops to smallholders’ livelihoods and food security. Specifically, the study aims to understand smallholder’s knowledge, perceptions and management practices of the perennial pigeon pea cropping systems, determine the economic costs and benefits therefore gross margins as well as the labor demand, and further provide a trade-off analysis using a whole-farm FarmDESIGN model. Two districts from north eastern Uganda are going to be sampled. Primary data collection approaches shall include the use of semi-structured questionnaires, in-depth interviews, focus group discussions and participatory observation. The results are regarded highly important for smallholder agriculture decision making in Uganda and beyond.


Key words: perennial crops, agricultural intensification, socio-ecological systems, farm modeling, Uganda


Doctoral research funded by

DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst/German Academic Exchange Service)


Supervisors of
doctoral work

Prof Dr. Christian Borgemeister

Prof. J.C.J Groot (WUR)


Advisor at ZEF

Dr. Till Stellmacher


Aura, C. M., A. Roegner, H. Owiti, D. Birungi, K.J. Fiorella, J. Corman, R. Kayanda, P. Mbullo, C.S. Nyamweya, G., Mchau, M. Daniels, M., & R.O. Abila.  2022.  Mind the gaps for the best practices: Enhancing the management of Lake Victoria fisheries resources.  Lakes and Reservoirs, 27   : 10   . (Open Access)   Further Information
Namuyiga; D., T. Stellmacher; C. Borgemeister; J .C. J. Groot.  2022.  A Typology and Preferences for Pigeon Pea in Smallholder Mixed Farming Systems in Uganda.  agriculture, 12 (1186)   : 15   . (Open Access)   Further Information


Francesconi, N., F. Wouterse and D. Birungi Namuyiga.  2021.  Agricultural Cooperatives and COVID-19 in Southeast Africa. The Role of Managerial Capital for Rural Resilience.  Sustainability, 13, 1046   . (Open Access)   Further Information

Additionals, Curriculum Vitae
and Downloads

Junior Researcher

Ecology and Natural Resources Management

dbirungi8(at) /

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