Uganda: Is science the prescription to climate change effects?
By Ismail Musa Ladu
With climate change taking its toll on agriculture and ultimately trade and investment, some renowned researchers, scientists and sector analysts believe it is time for the country to rethink how to harness Mother Nature, recommending adoption and application of proven scientific technologies in solving challenges resulting to low yields, impacting production and eventually the country’s competitive advantage.
Speaking in an interview, the Assistant Director of CUTS International, Mr Julian Mukiibi whose global organisation happened to be the brainchild of the Nairobi meeting where relationship between agriculture, climate change and trade became evident, noted that the impact of climate change on agriculture and trade is overwhelming, citing adoption of new scientific technologies among other solutions, saying they will be required for mitigation, adoption and elimination of hunger and food insecurity as well as for the survival of industry whose main raw materials depends on agricultural production.
Dr Ongu who is also the Executive Director, Science Foundation for Livelihoods and Development couldn’t agree more with group of eminent UN experts (IPCC) who recommended the use of biotechnology, in the form of genetically engineered crops and livestock, as one approach that should be taken on board.
Sector players and analysts like interviewed for this article shared Dr Ongu’s argument that whereas government officials engage in these various policy rituals, ordinary farmers continue to suffer from incidences of drought, pest, diseases, decreasing soil fertility, declining crop productivity and nutrient deficiencies. Statistics from the Ministry of Agriculture put the sector’s approximate growth rate at a stagnating 2 per cent for close to a decade.
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