Welcome to our very first News Digest where we focus on unpacking and understanding agricultural related issues. In this Issue, we try to uncover different people’s views on Climate Change. We asked smallholder farmers and those that work in the agriculture sector what they thought about Climate Change and its effect on their lives. The question posed was, If Climate Change was an animal, what would it be? Below are some of their interesting responses which we think you can relate to and/or learn from.
In my view, if climate change was an animal, it would be a tiger. This is because like a tiger, it can be gentle at one moment and ruthless in its next move. It has resulted into increased food insecurity, food prices, drought and floods. As a farmer I have been left wondering what to do and where to run to. Climate change effects have put everyone in fear. Nakito Juliet (smallholder farmer)
If Climate Change was an animal it would be a wolf. A wolf looks like a dog and yet it is very wild and dangerous. Our soils used to be very good and productive but as a result of climate change, they can no longer sustain our crop production. As a farmer, Climate Change has led to increased risk of droughts, fire and floods. Infact I fear that the heat will burn us alive some time to come. Kalulu Shaaban (smallholder farmer)
What is climate change?
Climate change is a long term shift in Climate of a specific location, region or planet. The shift is measured by changes in features associated with average weather, such as temperature, wind patterns and precipitation. Climate Change is one of the most devastating global challenges facing the world today. Effects of climate change differ from one region to another depending on several factors both natural and socio-economic in nature. Climate change increases climate vulnerability resulting into frequent and intense extreme weather and climate events such as droughts, floods, landslides, and heat waves. This has resulted into reduced agricultural productivity leading to increased food prices and food insecurity, emergence of new pests and diseases in agro ecology zones an aspect that has led to destruction of farmer’s fields and animals.
Agriculture and, specifically small scale farmers are the most vulnerable to climate change and variability. The low socio-economic development in the country gravitates the effects of climate change on farmer’s livelihoods. Different regions are affected by climate change differently. Men and women too are affected by climate change effects.
How is PELUM Uganda promoting increased resilience of Small Holder Farmers to Climate Change induced vulnerability?
In 2014, PELUM Uganda developed the Climate Smart Sustainable Agriculture (CSSA) model that has been piloted among 3 of its member organisations .The model is a farmer cantered and integrated Ecological initiative that empowers farmers to take the lead role in building their resilience /adaptation to climate change, sustainability to increase their productivity and meaningfully contribute to mitigation of climate change.
The model was piloted by international Institute of Rural Reconstruction (IIRR) in Gulu district, War on Wan (Northern Ireland in Ngora district and Ecological Christian Organisation in Nakapiripirit district among a total of 160 small scale farmers. And these farmers have established demonstration farms gardens and set up CSSA committees which take a lead role in scaling up the CSSA practices being demonstrated to other farmers
About the writer
Doreen Cheptoek has been volunteering with PELUM Uganda since 2015. She works in the M&E department.