Uganda is one of five countries that are set to benefit from a $3.49 million grant to scale up climate change projects aimed at promoting conservation farming that has the potential to quadruple output and earnings.
Along with Zimbabwe, Madagascar, eSwatini and Seychelles, Uganda will get $1.2 million through the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa and United Nations Development Programme for a three-year project.
About $1.2 million has been provided to implement the project in seven districts in eastern Uganda, with the EU providing the bulk of the funds through Comesa while UNDP is to provide $85,368.20.
The funds will be managed by the UNDP under an agreement signed with Comesa in July 2018 while Uganda’s Ministry of Agriculture will contribute advisory and extension services to farmers.
Officials told The EastAfrican this is a scaling up of conservation farming, whose first phase was piloted among 15,000 smallholder farmers and schools in Busoga sub-region, eastern Uganda from 2014 to 2016, with a $740,000 grant from Norway and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development.
The new project titled “Enhancing resilience of agriculture landscape and value chains in eastern Uganda—scaling up Climate Smart Agriculture practices” will support the adoption of climate smart agriculture practices and technologies among farmer co-operatives and schools.
It seeks to develop enterprise platforms to enhance productivity, value addition, marketing and integration of climate smart farming principles in the seven target districts of Budaka, Namutumba, Bugiri, Busia, Kaliro, Kamuli and Buyende, from 2019 to 2021.
This is part of Comesa’s overall European Union supported Global Climate Change Action Plus Programme, which focuses on mainstreaming climate change in national policies, strategies and development plans of member states, promoting, supporting, and piloting appropriate adaptation and mitigation projects.
With output and earnings from their farms increasing fourfold, it is expected that climate smart farmers in a region that carries the moniker of “Uganda’s capital of poverty” will not only help farmers eradicate poverty but also become resilient to climate disaster.