Farmers embrace sustainable approaches to avert climate change

Farming in Uganda is a source of income for many, but few get the process right. In South Western Uganda, however, some farmers are getting it right as they seek to reduce environmental challenges that come with the economic activity. ADELLA ORISHABA of Radio West tells the story of farmers using approaches that mitigate climate change effects.

The feature,was published with funding from ACME’s Enhanced Media Reporting for Transparency and Accountability (EMERTA) programme. 

Read the script below and listen to the audio at the end of the story.

 

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Hook……………………………farmer, part one

Vaginia Byaruhanga, a resident of Buhweju District, resigned her job as a primary school teacher to concentrate on farming. She is one of the farmers in South western Uganda employing Small Sustainable Approaches to land use that mitigate effects of climate change.

Byte………..………………………………..Vaginia speaking about the Small Sustainable Approaches.

Many times, farmers such as Vaginia employ these farming techniques without knowing the potential they have in mitigating climate change effects.

Some of the techniques include rebuilding dry or lifeless soils without applying chemicals; growing trees on farms which help keep soils moist and fertile; and providing shade for livestock and crops.

The trees also act as habitats for insects, such as bees, that pollinate crops. Importantly, all these techniques combined, make soils less vulnerable to drought or heat waves; and avert effects of climate change such as water shortages, changing planning seasons, short-run crop failures, long-term production declines as well as new weeds and pests.

John Kanyabuhara, a resident of Rwamujojo, Buhweju district, is another farmer employing such techniques.

Byte………………………. John talks about his technique and its advantages.

Several farmers in Mbarara, Bushenyi, Sheema and Isingiro districts in southwestern Uganda are undertaking these innovations.

Byte……………………….. Vox pops of farmers talking about what they are doing and their advantages.

Unlike other farmers, Annah Atwine of Kiruhura District uses biogas to aid her farming. As she explains, ever since she started using biogas, her work has been made easy, allowing her to do other household chores.

Byte….. ……………………………..biogas benefits.

Even with the good techniques and practices to adopt, some farmers are feeling the effects of climate change more than others. Benon Musime, a crop scientist and former Mbarara NAADS coordinator explains why.

Byte…… ……………………………….Benon

Questions abound on whether there is potential for wider replication of these approaches and whether they can address the food insecurity and welfare problems that farmers face. Benon explains further.

Byte……………………………………. Benon.

What role can agriculture extension workers play in this initiatives?  Innocent Arinaitwe, an agriculturist in Rwanyamahembe sub-county in Mbarara District offers some answer.

Byte………………………………….Innocent explains

How affordable are these innovative techniques? Innocent explains further.

Byte………………………….Innocent

Jeconiuos Musingwire, an environmental expert and focal person for the national environment watchdog, NEMA, explains that in southwestern region, small scale sustainable approaches can help farmers mitigate climate change effects.

Byte………………………………….Jeconious explains.

While agriculture has been criticised for contributing to climate change, through for example, contributing 25 to 30 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, little has been said and documented about how agriculture – if done sustainably – can mitigate climate change.

Listen to the story in the audio below.

 

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