By Our REPORTER
KAMPALA, SHIFT MEDIA- Uganda is not doing much to address issues of climate change that is ravaging the agricultural sector, leading farmer activists have disclosed.
The revelations come at a time when global leaders are winding up the United Nations Climate Conference (COP 26) in Glasgow UK.
The summit has brought together parties to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Uganda like other nations annually participates in the international negotiations on climate change dubbed Conference of Parties (COP 26), where decisions that inform international climate policy frameworks and strategies are made under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
This is in the struggle towards realizing a 1.5°C world. The IPCC 4th Assessment Report shows that if we stay on the current trajectory, Africa will warm 1.5 times faster than the global mean. The report further indicates that parts of Africa are already too vulnerable to climate change and already experiencing a 2-degree Celsius warming, way higher than the 1.5 degrees as previously thought. Yet Africa especially women and youth family farmers remains the least capable to deal with the adverse impacts of climate change.
Addressing the press at their Kampala offices, Hakim Baliraine the Eastern and Southern Africa Small-Scale Farmer’s Forum (ESAFF) Uganda National Chairperson said Uganda needs to up its game towards the fight against climate crisis.
“As the world was still grappling with the emission reduction discussions, it faced with COVID-19 pandemic that brought life to a halt. This has highlighted the urgent need for a radical sustainable direction to usher in change and bring relief, dignity, and equity to billions of people including family farmers, peasants, indigenous communities and fisher folks, whose survival is hanging by a thin thread,” said Baliraine. He made the remarks as ESAFF commemorated 25 years of climate justice. “As we commemorate 25 years of progress toward food sovereignty, the COP 26 agreements fall far short of ensuring a food system that fees in a way that is sensitive to different types of food production conditions,” he said.
Every November 6th the world marks the Global Action for Climate Justice.
Baliraine who addressed the media along with other small scale farmers who constitute the ESAFF Uganda membership lined out 8 solid conditions that government must do to address the climate crisis.
Among the demands were call for addressing the current inadequate financial budgeting towards the agriculture that still lies at below the 10% agreed Malabo declaration.
“Parties should urgently prioritize climate information access, sustainable and adaptive food systems rooted in agro-ecological contribution,” said the ESAFF boss.
The farmers also urged government to invest resources both technical and financial research on agro-ecological approaches.
“We appeal for an increase in the agricultural funding to at least 8% in the next financial year 2021/22. Uganda is food insecure because all the sector are underfunded,” he said. Adding: “If farmers experience a bumper harvest, most produce are wasted since there is no storage facilities nor food reserves.”
“The time for talking should end, government needs to walk the talk if Uganda is to achieve the target of food for all by 2040,” said Baliraine.