By John Bosco Sseruwu
OVER 721 farmers in Kalungu District have been skilled in climate adaptation and resilient agricultural practices by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO),to improve climate resilience practices in the country.
According to DR Kennedy Igbokwe the Climate Change Program Team Leader, Uganda is still stuck with the challenge of not being resilient to climate since a big number of Ugandans are lucking knowledge about climate change and what they can do to mitigate the impact of climate change.
He explains that though about 30% of Ugandans have knowledge about climate change, only 10% or even less are practicing what they know, and he says this is making the fight against climate change impact complicated.
“The number that has knowledge and practice is still very wide and for climate, and for Uganda to be resilient Ugandans need to have the knowledge to have the knowledge and skills and institutional capacity and this can be achieved in working in a group and farmers need to have economic adaptation capacity to be able to do investment on their own farms because adaption has a cost and that is why we are moving farmers from mere production to value addition (Value chain development)”. He added.
Dr. Kennedy made the remarks while officiating at a function held at Kyamuliibwa play ground in Kyamuliibwa Town Council on Thursday where he represented FAO Country Representative in Uganda Antonio Querido during the graduation ceremony of over 721 farmers from 27 farmer field schools in Kalungu district.
He said that they have given the farmers skills in the production, processing, packaging, and marketing of their products so that they can fend more money out of production that can be more resilient, and more adaptive by making more investments in their farms since they will be having the money they can invest in programs like irrigation and other good farming practices.
Moses Kayima the coordinator of Kalungu District Famers association KADIFA farmers association, has been working with FAO in skilling the farmers clustered under Farmer field schools from 3 sub-counties of Bukulula,Lwabenge and Kyamulibwa in parishes of Kiti, Bwesa, Bugomola and Mabuye and Kitosi among others.
Kayima says that they also gave knowledge skills and the ability to be organized so that they can work together and find solutions that affect them adding that the skills the farmers obtained in the farm field schools are going to help much in extending knowledge about climate change resilient farming practices.
“We expect that the people we have skilled are going to help much in spreading good farming practices and extension of knowledge to more community members so that we can bridge the knowledge gaps about the good farming practices in our communities in Kalungu and the entries sub-region” he added.
Eng Ronald Kato Kayizi from MAIF, in the department of water for production in charge of irrigation, who represented the State Minister for Water and Environment Aisha Ssekindi, thanked FAO for continued support to Uganda specifically under the Global Climate Change Alliance Plus (GCCA+) project, that is in different parts of the country and that has helped much in the fighting against the impact of climate change in the country.
“As we come to the end of this phase we are expecting another phase because the projects established in the ending phase have been so beneficial in the communities where they have been established and improved on the challenge of knowledge gaps in climate change mitigation and adaptation in the country and we pray that the program can be scaled up” he added.
Kayima however called upon the farmer groups that have acquired skills under the field farm schools to extend them to other farmers in their communities so that the number of people that practice good farming practices can increase from 10% which the country is staggering as to more good performance levels.
The farmers included Annet Nabuguzi,Gertrude Namutebi among others who acquired skills in the farm field skills applauded FAO and KADIFA for equipping them with skills that have enabled them to add value to their products, which have enabled them to get more money out of the products they produce.