NEW STUDY!!! Enhancing Smallholder Farmers’ Adaptation to Climate Change through Sustainable Agriculture
Climate change is regarded as the “defining human development” and environment issue facing the human race (UNDP, 2008). Climate change will have a significant impact on the livelihoods of the rural poor in developing countries including Uganda. This is due to the high dependence on agriculture which is natural resource based and highly vulnerable to climate change.
Farmers have a long history of responding to climate variability and have developed community based resilience mechanisms to reduce their vulnerability to climate change. However, the debate about the adaptation of smallholder farmers to climate change has occurred in the absence of knowledge about existing and potential adaptation practices.
The purpose of this publication, therefore, is to bridge the knowledge gap on already existing and
effective local adaptation initiatives practiced by smallholder farmers to bring about the formulation of
effective and sustainable community based adaptation strategies for agriculture in Uganda.
The study done among smallholder farmers in Uganda revealed that most farming practices that
enhance adaptation to climate change also contribute to climate change mitigation through increased absorption of carbon from the atmosphere and sequestration of green house gases below the ground.
Several farming practices were identified and verified to be both adaptive to climate change and to
contribute to climate change mitigation.They are soil and water conservation structures (contour farming, mulching, cover crops),runoff water harvesting (polythene lined water ponds and underground water tanks) agroforestry ,planting of indigenous drought tolerant crops etc
The study made a number of recommendations to enhance the adaptive capacity of smallholder
farming systems in Uganda. They include: establishing clear frameworks for sharing and integration of indigenous knowledge in climate change adaptation programmes, adopting a comprehensive approach for enhancing adaptive capacity of farming systems to climate change while also ensuring that the farming systems contribute to mitigation of climate change. Supporting mass sensitization and capacity strengthening of smallholder farmers on climate change causes, effects, mitigation and adaptation. etc
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