Climate change, diet and agri-food methods are main – however usually separate – areas of labor in international locations, at establishments and for growth and help programmes. More climate-resilient agrifood methods would require transformative change on completely different ranges, corresponding to at manufacturing – with a shift in the direction of sustainable farming and land use practices and at consumption – with a discount in meals waste and more healthy diets. There is a have to reimagine the ‘worth’ within the agrifood worth chains.
To immediate a dialogue on what synergies and alternatives for higher coherence exist, FAO’s Food and Nutrition Security Impact, Resilience, Sustainability and Transformation (FIRST) programme, along with the FAO-UNDP SCALA Progamme, convened stakeholders with completely different views on the state of affairs in Uganda. The dialog was premised on the popularity that linking local weather change, meals methods and social transformation processes can result in co-benefits and allow multi-stakeholder collaboration that brings collectively smallholder producers (together with girls, youth, indigenous folks), authorities representatives, analysis organizations and the personal sector.
It’s vital to acknowledge that we’re all customers. All manufacturing and different processes in agrifood worth chains are undertaken on behalf of the buyer and subsequently customers play a serious function in initiating change. It is simpler to attach the dots of meals methods on the shopper stage (diets and private decisions) than it’s on the coverage stage the place entities function in silos with their very own financing, coverage devices and institutional preparations.
Everyone has the suitable to entry protected and nutritious meals however usually to fulfill customers’ calls for, the processes of manufacturing meals negatively have an effect on ecosystems, and the soil and land the place they’re produced. Sustainable manufacturing in a sure sense begins with a sustainable shopper.
With 81 p.c of the Ugandan inhabitants engaged in rain-fed subsistence farming for meals and money earnings, local weather change poses a serious danger to financial development, livelihoods, in addition to export earnings, threatening to exacerbate inequality and poverty.
In addition, local weather change impacts women and men in a different way, notably within the agriculture and land use sectors. For occasion, when Uganda’s cattle hall experiences drought, women and men reply in several methods: males search for pastures for his or her livestock, whereas girls search for water for the family. Therefore, Uganda has a robust emphasis on integrating gender into their National Adaptation Plan (NAP) and different local weather insurance policies that acknowledges the completely different however equally vital roles that women and men have in agriculture and meals manufacturing.
Deforestation is one other key stressor in Uganda. The nation produces US$ 65 million in timber domestically and imports US$ 300 million in timber merchandise yearly. It additionally exported 5.3 tones of fruit and greens final yr, with the potential to extend exports on this sector. This would require planting extra bushes, nonetheless, in response to the Global Forest Watch report, Uganda misplaced about 900,000 hectares of forest cowl between 2000 to 2020. This loss in tree cowl is equal to 413 Mt of CO₂ emissions. Uganda has included forestry as a precedence sector in its NAP and nationally decided contribution (NDC) with a dedication to cut back its nationwide GHG emissions by 22 p.c by 2030.
Domestically, Uganda additionally produces a number of staple crops together with bananas, maize, tomatoes, onions, moringa, rice, espresso and cocoa bushes. There is a window of alternative for Ugandan farmers to diversify their crops (and forestry crops) to deal with seasonal droughts and decrease harvest losses on account of local weather change. There are clear synergies between selling the diversification of crops for home consumption that might promote domestically sourced nutritious meals to the inhabitants in addition to faucet into export markets.
Rice is one other main commodity in Uganda, and it’s a cereal that shops effectively with minimal post-harvest losses. Rice and rice husks even have many different makes use of and are vital to native markets in Uganda. Rice husks can be utilized for weaving baskets, making pulp for paper manufacturing, briquettes for cooking gas and roofing supplies for houses. Rice husks are a extra accessible family materials and save time for girls who would beforehand enterprise out to gather grass and different uncooked supplies for home use.
However, rice is commonly grown in wetlands that are extremely susceptible to elevated local weather variability (rising temperatures and seasonal droughts) and, on the identical time, contribute to important greenhouse fuel emissions. To adapt rice manufacturing in Uganda, corporations like Upland Rice Millers have promoted upland rice varieties which aren’t grown in swamps or wetlands.
Another personal sector voice, Sunshine Agro Products Ltd-Uganda encourages its +11,000 farmers to plant moringa bushes that bear fruit. Moringa will not be solely a extremely nutritious fruit that has the potential to contribute to meals safety, however it additionally thrives underneath native local weather situations. The Moringa tree is fast-growing, drought-resistant and thrives within the solar and warmth and it could possibly develop with rainwater however doesn’t require costly irrigation methods.
Government organizations, personal sector corporations, farmers and customers have to work collectively to make sure that susceptible and meals insecure populations have entry to wholesome diets whereas constructing resilience to local weather change dangers and impacts. Traditional grains and domestically grown fruit bushes and timber may very effectively contribute to the triple-win story of adapting to local weather change by way of diversifying crops, providing nutritious and wholesome diets to the Ugandan inhabitants, and making a sustainable agri-food system that’s each worthwhile domestically, in addition to internationally.
Editor’s be aware: This story was developed from the interventions made on the FIRST-SCALA joint webinar “Agrifood systems transformation to achieve global climate and nutrition targets: what is the implementation traction in countries?” on 22 March 2022 by Henry Kimra the Chief Executive of Consumer Education Trust; Pamela Anyoti, the Co-founder, Sunshine Agro Products Ltd-Uganda; Philip Idro, the Director of the Upland Rice Millers and present Chairman of Rice Council of Uganda; and Imelda Kanzomba, the Principal Agriculture Officer, Gender and Climate Change Focal Point within the Ugandan authorities.