Crop agronomist explains to farmers how the Fall Armyworm has taken advantage of climate change to attack maize fields.


Drought-resistant wheat

The research centre is also in the final stages of increasing wheat production in the highlands as well as expanding the production in the mid-altitude areas. This is partly driven by the fact that land in highlands is not easily mechanisable and more is available in lower altitudes ranging between 1,000 and 1,500m above sea level.

Stephen Wobibi, a senior technician of crop husbandry says candidate varieties are being tested to determine their suitability in semi-arid conditions and heat tolerance.

"The results are overwhelming and we should be able to release them to the farmers soon," he says.

The challenge for Uganda remains the high volume of imports that contribute up to 95 per cent of what is available on the market.

Sustainable forestry

With recent studies suggesting that forest cover had waned with Uganda losing about 90,000 hectares between 1990 and 2010, there are renewed efforts to have newer trees planted.

World Agroforestry (ICRAF), who were among the exhibitors, showcased the best practices that can ensure food security and environmental sustainability. Friendly trees were on display.

ICRA promotes what they call productive trees which are more resilient and profitable with the health of the soil, land and people in mind.

Geoffrey Kimenya, an agroforestry specialist noted that it is important to plant trees considering the type of environment for the best results.

Finance at the heart of agriculture

All the good farming practices can up in vain without financing. Yet Uganda is now offering more platforms where farmers can access financing.

Bank of Uganda’s Agricultural Credit Facility (ACF) is a key tool which farmers can access to boost their farming practices.

Having been rolled off in October 2009, with the aim of facilitating the provision of medium and long term financing to projects engaged in Agriculture and Agro processing, focusing mainly on commercialisation and value addition, ACF is offering farmers more financial freedom.

Bank of Uganda Principal Budget Analyst Sarah Mubuke Nantongo stresses that ACF caters for the changing climate especially with a three-year grace period with a loan period of up to eight years.

“You need a loan to transform your agriculture especially in these times when the weather is highly unpredictable,” Mubuke said. ACF is available at all microfinance deposit taking institutions and credit institutions.