The Minister of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries Vincent Bamulangaki Ssempijja has asked Ugandan farmers to adopt sustainable climate smart Agriculture if they are to overcome the challenge associated with climate change.
He said practicing climate smart Agriculture is key to making the sector more resilient to the Impacts of climate change.
“Climate change is becoming a big challenge to the agriculture sector; farmers need to adopt farming technologies that can support farmer’s to overcome climate change impacts” he said.
The minister was speaking at the launch of the national adaptation plan for the Agriculture sector Action Plan on climate change at Hotel Africana.
According to the minister, climate change is negatively impacting the sector especially in the crop subsector.
He said many crops are vulnerable to rising temperatures, increasing dry season and unrealizable rainfall.
An Assessment study on Uganda Vulnerability to Climate Change shows that crops such as Coffee, Rice, and Maize are to be more affected by climate change.
The report reveals that rising temperature and erratic rainfall increases the risks of diseases and pest infestation in coffee which is the leading foreign exchange earners for the country.
To ensure that farmers adopt climate smart agriculture, the minister said Government is committed to help farmers to access some of the technologies on the market but he challenged them to be organized that is how government can easily support farmers.
The minister said Government of Uganda has put in place a number of policies and planning instruments to enhance capabilities to cope with impacts of climate change challenge; guided by the National Climate Change Policy.
The UN Resident Coordinator/ UNDP Resident Representative – Ms. Rosa Malango said for Uganda to achieve the United Nations development goals, government needs to support local people in adopting climate change.
She said that although agriculture plays a big role in the country’s economy, the performance of the sector is declining due to climate change.
The contribution of the agricultural sector to Uganda’s development has slowed down over the past few years, partly due to the negative impact of climate change. Farmers can no longer predict when is the right season for planting as weather patterns have become erratic and extreme weather conditions like frequent floods, prolonged droughts, unreliable rains have become the new normal” She said
The National Adaptation Plan Framework identifies 21 priority actions in the key areas of: Crop Production, Livestock, Fisheries, Climate Information, Early Warning and Disaster Preparedness Systems, Forestry, Land and Natural Resources Management, Research, and Knowledge Management