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Home News Farmers Adopt Agroforestry To Fight Climate Change

Farmers Adopt Agroforestry To Fight Climate Change

by Jacquiline Nakandi
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By Javier Omagor

Farmers in the Sebei sub-region are embracing agroforestry coffee farming to combat climate change.

William Toboswo, a resident of Kapchesikor village in Kaptoyoy parish, Kween district, said he had experienced climate change effects and resorted to the farming practice.

“We can achieve a lot more in the fight against climate change if we collectively work together with agroforestry coffee farming and other recommended interventions,” he said.

Why adopt the practice?

Agroforestry coffee farming is a sustainable land-use practice that combines coffee cultivation with tree planting and other crops on the same plot of land.

“Since I started practising the technique, I have improved production and better yields,” Toboswo said.

Mirika Kissa, another farmer and resident of Chebugag, Tegeres sub-county in Kapchorwa district, explained how the other trees planted in her coffee plantation bolster the soil health on her farm.

“With agroforestry coffee farming, the soil retention is assured and so is the prevention of its erosion,” Kissa said.

As a result, she can save money previously used to buy fertilisers to boost her farm’s productivity.

“The leaves that trees shade decompose to form natural organic manure for my farm, while improving the soil’s ability to deliver,” Kissa explained.

Besides soil health and enhanced productivity, this approach can provide a range of benefits to combat climate change, some of which include carbon sequestration, water and biodiversity conservation, as well as economic ones.

The practice also leads to carbon farming as companies have started showing interest in buying carbon from some of these farmers’ plantations.

Carbon farming is a set of land management practices that aim at increasing the amount of carbon that is stored in the soil, vegetation and other natural systems, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Climate change experts such as Joseph Maberi lauded the agroforestry initiative in Sebei, singling out the carbon farming linkage as the central factor offered by the initiative.

“The farmers have chosen the right path of championing community-driven efforts to combat the effects of climate change and agroforestry is affordable,” he said.

Maberi, who works on a project dubbed “From Climate Victims to Climate Heroes,” urged farmers across the country to emulate the Sebei farmers.

Since specific trees are recommended, Maberi advised farmers to always consult on the right tree species to intercrop with their coffee trees.

Joint efforts

To facilitate Sebei farmers’ knowledge through capacity-building initiatives, some organisations have since teamed up to support farmers.

They include the Spanish-founded non-profit Solidaridad, the Netherlands’ farm-established Rabobank and Water and Environment Media Network, Uganda, in partnership with the Government.

Robert Nangasha, the extension services manager at the Uganda Coffee Development Authority, said the Government is interested in supporting such locally-driven initiatives.

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