By Joshua Kato
The Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) has taken a monumental step toward fortifying Uganda’s agricultural sector against the challenges of climate change. Today, MAAIF launched Climate Smart Agriculture Extension Manuals specifically designed for the Potato, Sesame, Soybean, and Sunflower value chains.
Highlighting the significance of this initiative, Major General David Kasura-Kyomukama, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, stated, “These manuals, focusing on specific value chains, play a vital role in achieving our sectoral objectives outlined in the National Development Plan III (NDPIII). Our goal is to increase household incomes and improve the quality of life for Ugandans. By enhancing the resilience of our agricultural practices, we are securing the future of our farmers and the nation’s food security,” he said.
Agriculture stands as Uganda’s most vital sector, employing approximately 72% of the population and contributing significantly to the country’s GDP. However, the sector faces a crisis due to climate change, causing unpredictable weather patterns, lower crop yields, and increased vulnerability for farmers. According to assessments conducted by the Climate Resilient Agribusiness for Tomorrow (CRAFT) project, farmers are increasingly facing climate shocks and stresses such as prolonged droughts, pests, diseases, floods, and landslides.
“Climate change and its effects are a reality, and therefore, farmers need tested and proven adaptive measures to become more resilient to these shocks and stresses,” said Bashir Kasekende, SNV Agri-food sector lead and CRAFT Country Project Manager. In response to these challenges, MAAIF developed climate-smart agriculture manuals with the support of the Netherlands Government through the SNV-led CRAFT project.
These manuals aim to strengthen the resilience of the Potato, Sesame, Soybean, and Sunflower value chains. The manuals provide comprehensive technical guidance on climate-smart agriculture practices and technologies, including the use of climate-resilient improved inputs, soil testing and safe use of agrochemicals, harvest and post-harvest management practices, water and soil conservation measures, climate and weather information utilization, use of bio-stimulants, and land and soil management practices and technologies.
These manuals will empower agricultural extension workers to provide information, knowledge, and technologies to farmers involved in these value chains.
By adopting these practices, farmers can adapt more effectively to climate-related challenges, ensuring the nation’s food security and the livelihoods of its agricultural community. This launch marks a significant stride toward fortifying the resilience of farmers and ensuring Uganda’s food security in the face of climate change.