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Ibanda University Partners with Swedish Varsity to Promote Sustainable agriculture, Rural Development

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Ibanda University and the Swedish University of Agriculture have partnered in a new project that seeks to promote conservation, food security and rural development in Western Uganda.

The promoting inclusive rural development through agro-ecology in western Uganda programme seeks to support conservation efforts for sustainable agriculture and empowerment of disadvantaged and rural communities to improve agriculture production and strengthen food safety and, hence, boost household earnings.

Empowering rural communities

Simon Muhumuza, the project contact person at Ibanda University, said special focus is on empowering rural communities to safeguard the biodiversity and ecosystems to insulate them against the increased impacts of climate change. It

The programme will also promote conservation and propagation of indigenous seed varieties as one of interventions to reduce malnutritious and disease and pest resistant planting materials, he added.

Muhumuza, a lecturer in the department of agriculture at Ibanda University’s Faculty of Applied Sciences, was speaking after a meeting with officials from the Swedish University of Agriculture at the university campus. The local institution will be in charge of research on what can work best and also mobilise communities to participate in the programme.

Financial inclusion

Through the programme, over 50,000 women will be mobilised and organised into village savings and loaning groups. “These will act as environmental conservation groups as well as self-sustaining and economic empowerment groups, according Dr Karl Eric Johnson, from the Swedish University of Agriculture.

The project is set for rollout to targeted communities during the first quarter of next year, 2023. It will be implemented in Kamwenge, Ibanda, Kitagwenda, Buhweju and Rubirizi, among other districts, said the official. In Kamwenge district, we shall work with the refugees and the host community.

The project comes under the backdrop of the growing effects of climatic change due to environmental degradation, which has led to adverse weather conditions, including hailstorms, floods and long dry spells that have affected food security, people’s incomes as well as destroyed human settlements and disrupted human activities.

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