Chickpea and pigeonpea

Photo credit: ICRISAT

Photo: Abrham Tigist, ICRISAT

Project on chickpea and pigeonpea launched in Ethiopia

A new project targeting chickpea in north Gondar region of Ethiopia and pigeonpea in northern Uganda was launched in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in July.

The project focus for the two legumes is on – Developing and disseminating farmer and market preferred varieties and best bet technologies; Collection and characterization of unique germplasm;  Developing integrated seed systems and market value chains to improve farmers’ income. Ms Silvia Fluch and Ms Eva-Maria Sehr represented Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT); Dr NVPR Ganga Rao, Senior Scientist – Breeding (Grain Legumes), Dr Christopher Ojiewo, Senior Scientist – Legumes Breeding (ESA) and Dr Sabine Homann Kee Tui, Scientist, Markets, Institutions and Policies, represented ICRISAT at the meeting.

Project: Food legumes for enhanced food and nutritional security, systems productivity and profitability of smallholder farmers in Ethiopia and Uganda

See the text: ICRISAT


Local communities and effective adaptation strategies

Photo credit: CCAFS-CGIAR

Emergence of new diseases and pests for some crop varieties has affected farm productivity in Uganda. Photo: IITA

Drought and pest epidemics among top climate risks in rural Uganda

by Vivian Atakos and Maren Radeny (CCAFS East Africa)

The traditional coping strategies developed by local communities provide useful foundations for effective adaptation strategies.

nd e“We find it difficult to plan our farm activities; rainfall patterns are very variable and confusing. Dry spells are common during crop production seasons,” said farmers in rural Uganda, during a focus group discussion session convened by researchers to understand farmers’ perception of climatic trends and climate-related risks.

Smallholder farmers in Uganda face a wide range of agricultural production risks, with climate change and variability presenting new risks and vulnerabilities. Climate-related risks such as prolonged dry seasons have become more frequent and intense with negative impacts on agricultural livelihoods and food security.

A new working paper by the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) assessed farmers’ perceptions of climate change and variability and analysed historical trends in temperature and rainfall in two rural districts of Uganda. The paper ‘Climatic trends, risk perceptions and coping strategies of smallholder farmers in rural Uganda’ (PDF) also identified the major climate-related risks affecting crop and livestock production and the existing innovative strategies for coping with and adapting to climate-related risks, with potential for upscaling in rural districts.

Read the full article: CCAFS-CGIAR

Grain harvest and storage in Uganda

Photo credit: UN News Centre

Photo: World Bank/Simone D. McCourtie

Uganda: UN-backed investments in small farmers yield impressive outcomes

Smallholder farmers in Uganda have made impressive progress in grain harvest and storage, thanks to a World Food Programme (WFP) investment plan which aims at improving their agricultural practices and market access.

“WFP is providing over 1,000 farmer groups with critical information, skills and modern tools which enable them to access the quality grain market,” Michael Dunford, WFP’s acting country representative, said yesterday in a news release.

Agriculture and market support, he highlighted, are among WFP’s priorities in Uganda, complementing Government initiatives to improve grain harvest.

However, inadequate storage and handling practices reduce the quality of the grain, which blocks access to formal markets, explained Mr. Dunford.

“By building warehouses and establishing local storage facilities, WFP has increased grain storage capacity in Uganda by more than 25,000 metric tons and helped to stimulate trading,” he added.

In infrastructure, WFP and partners have been working with farmers to upgrade storage facilities and provide modern grain processing equipment to ensure their access to markets.

In addition, the UN agency trained over 16,000 farmers in 27 districts, as well as purchased 62,000 pieces of grain storage equipment for households in 2014.

Farmers therefore have been selling grains at a much competitive price. Last year, for example, WFP bought over 41,000 metric tons of food at $17.5 million, from small scale farmers as well as grain traders throughout Uganda.

Read the full article: UN News Centre

Improving institutional capacity through locally led participatory action research

Photo credit: CCAFS-CGIAR

Trainers participate in research as part of the Trees for Global Benefit project in Mbale, Uganda. Photo: EcoAgriculture Partners

Local organizations in Kenya and Uganda lead smallholder carbon projects

Participatory action research yields benefits for smallholder farmers, carbon sequestration, and much learning.

Among the many men and women toiling in rows of maize, sunflower, sugarcane, potatoes and beans in Bungoma County, Kenya, practically no one was interested in growing carbon. For one, no one has ever asked for a big bowl of carbon for dinner. Also, carbon does not make any money on the local market (nor on the global market for that matter).

Thus, it is a challenge to attract participation in agricultural carbon projects – and thereby to lower total net emissions from agriculture in the developing world.

So what if carbon storage was a happy by-product of more immediately rewarding investments by farmers? Are there climate-smart agriculture practices that make sense to farmers and include investing in storing carbon on their croplands? And could carbon funds feasibly finance investments in those practices? And how can the projects be implemented?

Carbon projects involving hundreds of farmers are very complex: they require training farmers, distributing inputs or supplies, measuring carbon stored and distributing carbon payments. The more farmers involved, the greater the necessity for more tasks. Project success depends, then, on the institional capacity of project implementers.

Over the last several years, EcoAgriculture Partners found that when local institutions drive the project management and problem-solving processes, they generate deep learning, empowerment and ownership over the results. Though sometimes overlooked when focusing on hard adoption targets, local participation in management is essential for sustained carbon sequestration.

Read the full article: CCAFS-CGIAR

From farm to boda-boda

Photo credit: CIAT Blog

Can the entrepreneurial spirit of young people be harnessed to encourage them to turn to agriculture? Credit: Georgina Smith / CIAT 

Farms without farmers?

Deforestation in Uganda

Photo credit: Google

Let’s reverse deforestation

Written by Editorial


Yet the importance of forests can’t be overemphasized. We need forests to maintain a friendly ecosystem; to get rainfall, oxygen and feed water bodies. We also need forests to sustain the construction industry, provide energy and food, among other benefits. In short, we need forests to live. However, despite clear evidence that forests and people’s livelihoods are intertwined, we continue to be oblivious of the destruction going on around us.

Ongoing deforestation activities in Mpigi District a case study of Katabalalu forest in Uganda -
Ongoing deforestation activities in Mpigi District a case study of Katabalalu forest in Uganda –

According to the ministry of water and environment, global deforestation is now rated at 13 million hectares annually, accounting for 12-20 per cent of the global carbon dioxide emissions that contribute to climate change.

Forest degradation in Uganda is estimated at about 92,000 hectares annually, which some experts suggest is roughly the size of the well-known Mabira forest reserve.

According to the Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment (Acode) deputy executive director, Onesmus Mugyenyi, Uganda’s forest cover has reduced from 53 to 24 per cent in the last 50 years. What is left, Mugyenyi says, will be gone within the next 50 years at current degradation levels.

Read the full article: The Observer

Go for sweet potatoes

Photo credit: Google

Science ‘meeting farmers’ need’

See video :

Sweet potato is one of the neglected African crops, yet it has a huge potential to address food insecurity and help improve livelihoods in the continent. Among other challenges, farmers are faced with the lack of clean seed varieties and are often forced to recycle disease-prone and low-yield seeds obtained through an informal system.

Fortunately, a project involving researchers from Makerere University, Uganda, and Bio-resource Innovations Network for Eastern Africa Development (Bio-Innovate Africa) has conducted research and produced better varieties that yield more and are testing a model seed system that involves the university’s small amounts of these planting materials, which are then passed on to entrepreneurial famers for multiplication.

Read the full story: SciDevNet

Forest encroaching in Uganda

Photo credit: Pixabay

Ugana, Bwindi Impenetrablr Forest

Uganda Forests in Danger

East African Business Week (Kampala) – 25 JANUARY 2015


Kampala — A parliamentary commission wants the management at the National Forestry Authority to take action against all encroachers in the central forests reserves in the country.

The MPs on the committee are disgruntled with the Authority’s soft handling the encroachers yet their actions have devastated the country’s natural resource.

According to the committee NEMA failed to punish individuals who had been granted permission to plant trees in the central forest reserves but instead began growing crops thus clearing large chunks of trees for crop farming.

The failure by NFA to enforce Forestry regulation is responsible for the massive destruction of the forest cover in the country; Uganda has lost big percentages of its natural forests resources as result of encroachers.

According to the Sector performing report for the Ministry of water for the financial year 2012/2013, reveals that the area of natural forests and woodlands is drastically reducing. By 2009, Uganda’s forest cover was 18%, having declined from 24%in 1990.

Read the full article: allAfrica


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