The European Union, German government through GIZ and Uganda have partnered to launch the Climate Smart Agriculture project in northern Uganda districts.
The Climate Smart Agriculture project focuses on enhancing knowledge and institutional capacity for local governments and other stakeholders to be aware of effects of climate and develop linkages between government and private sector on how to fight climate change.
Speaking at the function held at Protea Hotel in Kampala on Thursday afternoon, GIZ’s Sonja Esche said nowadays, farmers find difficulties in predicting rain and end up losing out when they grow crops and rain does not come.
“They find problems when it does not come as predicated but when it comes, the rain is heavy and ends up destroying their crops. The unpredictability of rain is as a result of climate change,” Esche said.
She, however, noted that with the Climate Smart Agriculture Project, it would be easier for farmers to understand the effects of climate change, see how to increase productivity and incomes; engage in practices that ensure adaption to climate change but also contribute to the mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions.
The acting head of cooperation for the European Union delegation in Uganda, Pavlos Evangelidis said through the Global Climate Change Alliance established in 2007, the EU aims at supporting lower income countries and regions most vulnerable to climate change.
“Uganda has benefitted from this initiative with three grants worth shs103 billion over the last 10 years and it is an indication of EU’s commitment to climate action and the need to respond quickly and effectively to the threats and challenges posed by climate change,”Evangelidis said.
Agriculture takes up 70% of Uganda’s workforce and being a major contributor to the country’s GDP, the sector plays a crucial role for Uganda’s economy.
Despite the country’s productivity from smallholder agriculture depending on weather and climatic conditions, in the recent years, losses in yields due to shifting rainfall patterns and climate hazards like long dry spells, floods and heatwaves are on the rise.
Speaking at the function, the EU official underscored the need for quicker and immediate intervention in order to mitigate effects and associated risks of climate change for particularly vulnerable economies like Uganda which are agrarian.
He noted that the Climate Smart Agriculture project will focus on supporting the sustained application of gender-responsive climate-smart agricultural practices among smallholder farming practices.
The project will also enhance awareness and capacities for monitoring, reporting and verification of greenhouse gas emissions in the agricultural sector.
The Ministry of Local Government Permanent Secretary, Ben Kumumanya welcomed the project, saying it has come at the right time to complement government efforts.
He noted that the intervention will go a long way in helping farmers increase productivity and their incomes.
The Climate Smart Agriculture project will be implemented in selected districts in Northern Uganda including Amolatar, Dokolo, Oyam, Lira, Agago, Kitgum and Napak and will be executed by the Ministry of Local Government.
The project is expected to benefit over 25000 farmers in northern Uganda.