Tuesday, 04 August 2015

Farmers asked to practice “climate smart agriculture”

At the East African Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA), experts asked farmers to use fertilizers and improved seeds in order to engage in climate change friendly practices to improve production. Martin Ameu, a programme associate at UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said, “We have to find alternative ways to maximize production (…) We need to devise better crop management practices and apply irrigation and fertilizers to increase efficiency.” Caroline Kirungu, who presented a paper on CSA initiatives in Eastern Africa said, “We need to practice irrigation, plant drought resistant varieties and commercialize our agriculture.” Agriculture minister Tress Bucyanayandi explained that the government was distributing tea, coffee, and cotton seedlings to increase production of perennial crops. Agriculture now contributes to 26% of the country’s gross domestic product in Uganda. Nevertheless, it is estimated that agricultural practices account for 14% of global green gas emissions, they are a key driver of deforestation and land degradation.