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Copyright 2017 - @ College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences - Makerere University. All Rights Reserved!

Mak holds the 3rd FANRPAN’s Multi-Stakeholder Policy dialogue on Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA)

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      Participants pose for a group photograph during the break session at Makerere University

The Food, Agriculture, Natural Resources Policy Advocacy Network (FANRPAN) on 21st July 2016 held the 3rd Multi-stake holder Policy dialogue on Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA). The dialogue was held at the conference Hall, School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bio-engineering, Makerere University.

FANRPAN CSA program seek to Generate CSA research- based evidence and address knowledge gaps; Strengthen CSA institutional capacity and support capacity building of young professional on CSA and food security research; Support advocacy campaigns for the development and implementation of responsive CSA policies and; Supporting the uptake of CSA best practices.

The program titled, “Strengthening Policy Advocacy and Research Capacity for Enhanced Food Security in East and Southern Africa (SPARC)”, is funded by African Capacity Building Foundation. The project started in December 2012 and will be ending in December 2017.

In 2014, The CSA Policy studies were conducted in 16 countries including Botswana, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The objectives of the policy studies are to: Conduct comprehensive reviews of the existing CSA policy context in each study country; Analyze gaps in the existing policy frameworks; Identify relevant policy recommendations; Develop and share policy recommendations (briefs) at national and regional levels.

In 2015,  a validation workshop involving a number of stake holders  validated the COP study findings. This year (2016) the plan was to look into the 2014 validation and recommendations to come up with the development strategies to fill the gaps.

It is within this background that about 70 delegates with a strong national influence in food, agriculture and natural resource including senior officials of national governments, donor organizations, farmers’ organizations, agri-business, development partner agencies and media converged at Makerere University to share perspectives and experiences on CSA in Uganda.

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            A section of participants in a group discussing the Agricultural sector policies

The objectives of the National Policy Dialogue are to: Share the draft CSA scoping study report outputs with stakeholders: Validate the outputs from the draft CSA scoping study report: Identify priority CSA policies and technologies relevant for the country in light of new developments such as the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) and the Paris Climate Change Agreement under the UNFCCC and; Solicit policy recommendations from stakeholders.

FANRPAN Uganda Node Coordinator, Prof. Archileo Kaaya welcomed participants to the dialogue and thanked them for honouring the invitation. He applauded FANRPAN for the funding and being well-organised and carrying the activities as programmed.

“ We are having our 3rd Multi-Stakeholders’ meeting on Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) which is very important for this nation. As you know, Uganda is an agricultural based country and the issue of climate change has been affecting agriculture. So we are happy that we are having different stakeholders to discuss issues of CSA.”

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              FANRPAN Country Node Coordinator, Prof. Archileo Kaaya speaking during the national dialogue

Prof. Kaaya outlined FARNPAN activities done through the node. These include supporting the development and implementation of better food, agriculture and natural resources policies in Africa.

He emphasized that issues of Climate Change are visible and seriously affecting the population. He observed that farmers who have been tilling land this year will suffer losses arising from the prolonged drought posing a threat to the achievement of food security.

The Multi-Stakeholder dialogue was officially opened by the Ag. Principal, Makerere University College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences (CAES), Assoc. Prof. Gorettie Nabanoga.

Dr. Nabanoga said the University was proud to be a leader and hosting this program. This particular program is hosted by the School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bioengineering which is one of the units that deals with the food related aspects in Makerere University.

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          Assoc. Prof. Gorettie Nabanoga giving the opening remarks

“As a training institution, we are proud to be the leaders in Uganda and we take this as an important opportunity to liaise with different stakeholders in agriculture and government particularly on food policy development to assure food security and food production",  Dr. Nabanoga said.

She observed that policy advocacy is one of the components of the outreach mandate of the university and also one of the major activities needed for the development of the country, recalling that Uganda is agricultural based.

The Ag. Principal said, the university is mandated to carry out research, do training and outreach and has been able to generate this report and factors that can fit well in the curricular.

“Already, we have a number of agricultural based training programs that are ongoing and CSA is one of the components that we are mainstreaming and incorporating into our training processes. And the fact that we in our training, we work with communities in terms of improving their livelihoods demonstrating the kind of agricultural practices we do have”. Dr. Nabanoga went on to say that:

“CSA is going to be streamlined into our activities with local farmers because most of our research projects are on our farmers within communities. So we think as we do the training and carry out research, we are going to be able to disseminate the information at the same time”.

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A group of participants discussing the Forestry Sector policies

The Ag. Principal also clarified on the allegation that academicians do research and produce reports that gather dust on shelves.

“A lot has been said that we do research and leave the books on shelves. At times, it is more of the practical involvement of our actors, the university, the community and students. So, by the time we release our students as graduates they are already aware of the importance of CSA and as they do their extension, they would have the skills and abilities to disseminate this information. So we think this is going to fast track the information out there to the communities who need it including farmers who best need to use it”.

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                           A group of participants discussing the Water sector policies

FANRPAN representative, Mr. Njongenhle Nyoni defined Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) as agriculture that sustainably increases productivity, resilience (adaptation), reduces/removes greenhouse gases (mitigation), and enhances achievement of national food security and development goals.

“CSA promotes agricultural best practices, particularly; integrated crop management, conservation agriculture, intercropping, improved seeds and fertilizer management practices, as well as supporting increased investment in agricultural research”. He further said:

“We are lucky that Uganda was able to submit the recommendation to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) through the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC’s) which are the internationally accepted instruments. We want to review the report and validation and record recommendations in light of those developments”. Mr. Nyoni stated.

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              FANRPAN representative, Mr. Njongenhle Nyoni presenting on FANRPAN initiatives

He said although this particular project funding was ending, the institution will go beyond 2017 to have a food secure Africa, fight hunger and poverty.

“So there is need to push forward the agenda. FANRPAN will still exist and work together with other stakeholders. There are issues raised in relation with policy. FANRPAN is still committed to working with local and regional stakeholders to address issues to deal with CSA across Africa. So the initiative will still continue”. He said.

Mr. Stephen Muwaye from the Climate Change Department in the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries(MAAIF) told participants that the Ministry has put in place a CSA task force through which it highlights a number of initiatives and to interest CSA among people.

“The ministry is also developing a country CSA Program integrated in the Agriculture Sector Strategic Plan.The INCD’s is a very strong instrument right now and will enable Uganda move with the rest of the region”. He stated.

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                                   Mr. Stephen Muwaye speaking during the dialogue

Mr. Muwaye also observed that there is a lot of demand for new instruments or policies but the biggest point is to focus on accessing resources to address the issues of climate change.

“The financing mechanism puts a lot of emphasis on the private sector. The private sector is the rolling arm of development but it is worth noting that companies are supplying fake inputs for development. There is need to identify the available alternative financing and how to involve domestic financing that can deliver INDC’s”.

He also emphasized the need for the INCD’s to focus on the young generation like the youth and children because by 2050 they will be existing and will be severely affected by Climate change.

“The emphasis given to gender is quite important because the process recognises that it can help all to participate and access information. There is need to focus on primary schools for instance, the program on schools to learn about CSA as children can pass over the information to parents and use the same information to live better”. He also observed that:

“Uganda’s agriculture emissions contribute 50%. There is need to recognize that livestock is also contributing a bigger part. Therefore INDC’s should be able to identify those other aspects like livestock feeding and management of manure from livestock. Agriculturalists are responsible for degradation as they till land to produce food. It is therefore important also to look at how agriculture can contribute to the sequencing of carbons”. Mr. Muwaye said.

The Climate Change Consultant Dr. Patrick Byakagaba said the key point out of the 2014 study is that the country was supposed to adopt CSA but has not reached the desired level of adoption in terms of policy despite commitments through various instruments.

“Overall what is coming out of this report is that we need to come up with measures that will enable CSA become a policy issue with clear and viable aspects in measuring progress we are making to implement CSA. This is an obligation we made in INDC’s and we have no way out as it is important in addressing the issue of food security, develop and sustain our economy and relieve environment from climate change”. he said.

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                       Climate Change Consultant, Dr. Patrick Bakagaba speaking

The consultant said the university has initiated a number of dialogues with various actors both state and non-state to increase advocacy for CSA.

“But also, the university identifies the most legitimate actors in these processes and in this case, the Climate Change Forum of Parliament is one that we engage. And also we would like to engage MAAIF. We have focal and responsible persons here and other actors involved in promoting CSA”, Dr. Byakagaba said.

He said, the report will be freely available on the website and open to all colleagues. He also said opinion articles will be written in the media and ultimately, the issue of CSA will become at a level of becoming priority to engage relevant decision makers.

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 Dr. Patrick Byakaba, Mr. Nyongenhle Nyoni, Dr. Gorettie Nabanoga and Prof. Achileo Kaaya addressing  journalist during a media briefing session.

The conference position was that the convener engages responsible agencies and make sure that the Climate Change Department MAAIF is aware of what has transpired and value the Network.

It was also agreed that the secretariat engages Climate Change Forum at Parliament and organize a dialogue to share the outputs of the dialogue.

The other outcome was that the convener organizes to meet the Natural Resources’ Committee of Parliament and share the output because the committee has a contribution to the INDC’s.

Finally it was agreed that a platform within the planning of the network be established to push ahead policy engagement focusing on how to make the CSA visible and a priority policy issue.

The workshop was closed by Prof. Archileo Kaaya on behalf of the Dean, School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bio engineering. Prof. Kaaya thanked the participants for actively engaging in the dialogue. He also thanked FANRPAN for funding the program and urged all participants and other stakeholders to continue advocating for CSA for the public good.

Report compiled by:

Jane Anyango

Communication Officer, CAES

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