AGRA CONVENES FIRST UGANDA NATIONAL FARMERS FORUM
Alliance for Green revolution in Africa (AGRA) has convened the first national Farmers Forum in Uganda, the forum which was both physical and virtual brought together farmers from different parts of the country to deliberate issues affecting farmers and exploring pathways towards resilience agriculture. The event is part of the key activities of the 2021 Africa Green Revolution summit currently happening in Nairobi.
Virtually addressing farmers at the flagging of the forum Dr. Agnes Kalibata the AGRA chief executive thanked farmers for their continued effort to feed the world despite the continued Climate change challenges.
“ Farmers are at the center of the world agriculture development, seven out of 10 people in Africa are farmers, so at AGRA we prioritize hearing voices of farmers because we know their importance, we know and cannot ignore that Farmers suffer to feed the world, this is because of climate change, we are all part of the problems farmers have, so its important to hear them out for better solutions.” Said Dr Kalibata.
Kalibata noted that farmers are tightly attached to climate change which made it hard to discuss anything without them, she said Africa’s appeal at the upcoming food summit was majorly the need for collective effort and ensuring global perspective towards climate change.
“farming is not a poverty trap for Farmers, we can reverse this assumption, it is within our control, our governments need to play their part, we should work with people in the markets, in the environment, and other value chain players.
During the forum, Platform for Farmer organizations in Africa PAFO President and also President of East African farmers Federation (EAFF) Her Excellency Nsimadala Elizabeth called on policymakers to look at food holistically saying the prices of food in the market should equally represent the income earnings of Farmers at the farm.
“We need to ensure equity, there should be equivalent pay to the farmers in line with the investment made. Our farmers are getting peanuts, then it’s the same farmers who are again hit by the food insufficiency.” Adds Nsimadala.
Agnes Kirabo of the food rights alliance while making a presentation called on governments to go public on the pricing of Farmers’ foods, said an absentee state could not ensure good regulation of prices, leaving the farmer at mercy of the middlemen who exploit them.
“ food is a basic right, it cannot be regulated by an absentee state, governments should start investing in all institutions that support food systems and ensure 70% is equitably controlled for Farm households to benefit.
”farmers have not yet been brought on the table, they are still in the kitchen, this is making it hard to get solutions that help farmers, we need to be consulted to tackle climate change” Kaganga John Kikandwa Environmental Association
“We want irrigation, promotion of climate-smart agriculture practices if we want the farmer to fight climate change,” said Shem Seruga from Mityana Agaliawamu Farmers network
“ There are no extension services available to farmers, this makes it hard for farmers to get any positive advisory, we need to ensure each farmer can access an extension point. They are left to gamble. This has left us vulnerable to being cheated.” Alex Muhoozi, Isingiro Farmers association
“ We have been divided by small funders and even free things by government, this makes it hard for farmers to adapt to new innovations that will reduce climate change effects.” Said Joyce Tabingwa Farmer from jinja district Farmers association
“ we need good representation in most public offices, we need members of parliament who are farmers, this will make it hard for better advocacy and fast-tracking pro farmers policies” Makobore UNFFE
We need to help farmers develop agro insurance, many farmers are losing crops and losing the will to farm, many abandon farming for other businesses, and many engage in farming without concentration. “ Resty Namayanja National Woman Representative and chair Mayuge district Farmers association.
Farmers need to know that value addition does not need a machine, even washing potatoes before taking them to the market is value addition, we need to teach farmers add value to their crops using very affordable innovations and technologies.” Daniel Luswata Farmer from Namayumba under hunger project