Feb 22, 2018 Last Updated 2:37 PM, Apr 10, 2017
National News

By Grace Musimami

Many parts of Uganda are already experiencing Climate change impacts from erratic weather such as frequent droughts, floods and landslides, leading to famine, Close to 800,000 hectares of crop land is being lost every year to effects of climate change, according to Dr willy kakuru, project coordinator at the Food and Agriculture organization (FAO) ,the 2016 Uganda vulnerability report indicates the impacts of climate change could lead to grave future catastrophe if not mitigated or adapted.

“The Country is loosing millions of dollars due to climate change impacts, for example in 2008 the drought led to losses close to 47 million dollars and that of 2000and 2013 the losses went up to 907 million dollars, the 1998 and 2000 floods we lost 2.7 million dollars’ worth of coffee and loss of lives. these are key indicators that we are on the danger path” said Dr Kakuru
Kakuru was addressing agriculture , gender experts and district planners at a training workshop to integrate gender in climate change streamlined into the agriculture national adaptation plan, the three day workshop organized by food and agriculture organization drew participants from various districts across Uganda. Participants included district leaders, agriculture officers and civil society members.

Officiating at the opening of the conference the Luwero district vice chairperson Mr Joseph Sentongo, urged participants to be assertive in ensuring climate change mitigation saying many farmers were feeling the impacts but cannot shout out and die silently.
“Climate Change has caused hash conditions and it’s the farmers who can tell, it is time that we adapt now otherwise our country will face the thrust , adapting and mitigating is the only solution and note the women are key in making this work.” Says Sentongo.
Atwine Rebecca the gender specialist at the Equal opportunity commission highlighted that Gender is not all about women, saying gender is an inclusive process that is all encompassing,
“We need to change our perceptions about gender and gender equity, we need gender equity in planning and budgeting meaning all voices need to be heard, not only those that are big. So we need every forgotten individual on board, “ said Rebecca
She adds that for belter gender mainstreaming, there is need to see the national development plan two (NDP2) trending towards inclusive growth, meaning we are all in, the poor, the blind, the women, youth
According to FAO, The training is purposed to enhance awareness of stakeholders on gender gaps in agriculture sector, causes and solution, particularly in four subsectors such as fisheries, livestock, forestry and crops production in Uganda in context of climate change. The training will also strengthen the organizational gender mainstreaming capacity for stakeholders.
Henry Musisi, the Luwero District assistant Chief Administration officer, said Women constitute over 80% of labor in agriculture but have less opportunity, then men do the monitoring and marketing of the produce.
“We have a tribe in luwero where after paying bride price the men seat back and the women do everything, such cultural norms have made it hard to streamline gender issues in the local government plan process, and this also makes it hard for the national plans but this can change.” Said Musiisi
Musisi Commended the Non-governmental organizations for doing a great job to sensitize communities on gender mainstreaming and equity.

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aflatoxin research in lab Maize is a main food product on most African plates , it’s the most grown crop in most of the smallholder farmer’s fields, However, despite the importance Maize can be the avenue for biological insecurity if not well protected from development of aflatoxin. 

Scientist at the National Agriculture Research Organisation (NARO) , have developed new maize varieties that are resistant to Aspergillus fungus which is the cause of development and low Aflatoxin accumulation.

According to Dr Godfrey Asea, Director at the NARO’s Namulonge Agriculture Crop resources Research institute(NaCRRI), the institute has developed a variety in response to increased aflatoxin outcry. He said the variety is both high yielding and very resistant to the fungus that generates the aflatoxin existence.

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