Posts Tagged ‘Climate’

Importance of Agro-Forestry

Although the word systems and practices are used synonymously in agro-forestry literature, a distinction can be drawn between them. Agro-forestry is a collective name for land use system and technologies in which woody perennials are deliberately used on the same land management units or agricultural crops and animals in some form of spatial arrangement or temporal sequence.

Home gardens are used loosely to mean several practices, such as growing vegetables behind the house. In agro-forestry terminology, home garden are mixed plantings where multipurpose trees and shrubs are grown in intimate association with annual and perennial crops / livestock’s under the management of family labor within the compound of individual house.

Food production is the primary function of most home gardens and it is almost continuous throughout the year. The intimate mixture of various agricultural crops and multipurpose trees meet the basic needs of the local population while the multistoried configuration and high species diversity of home gardens help reduce the environmental deterioration.
It is estimated that every year millions of acres of land fall out of production due to soil degradation, and the most prevalent of soil degradation are nutrient depletion and soil erosion. Soil degradation is a major problem particularly in our developing countries where effective erosion control measures, and nutrient replenishment is seldom practiced.
In Mayuge for instance, many farmers cultivate on the same piece of land year in and year out without fallowing or applying manure / fertilizer, resulting in consistence decline of biological potential of the soil in form of reduced yields. Trees are known to improve and maintain soil fertility using agro-forestry as a low input system for famers.
For a soil to be fertile its physical, chemical and biological properties need to be conducive for the plant growth by improving on the physical, chemical and biological status of the soils……….trees can enhance crop performance.

Mulopi Joseph


Climate Change; A Threat to Lives in Uganda?

By Ssebaggala Peterson S.

Agriculture is one of the major activities in Uganda, a developing country. Agriculture highly depends on climate of any area. Once it is misused it can turn up to be a menace. Uganda is composed of a population of more than 28 million people. Half of this population lives in extreme poverty in rural areas.

More than 80% of Ugandans are peasant farmers and stay in villages where they earn barely a dollar per day. During heavy rains, gardens are flooded with water leading to loss of crops. Villages like Apac (district in the northern part of Uganda), the people at one point lost all their agriculture products and some lives. The dangers of these floods are more common in areas where trees have been cleared as people struggle to earn a living by cutting trees. This leaves the ground bare and susceptible to floods causing massive property destruction and hunger.

It is now becoming a routine that during dry periods that land is burnt in rural areas. This is because, the farmers especially cattle keepers have a belief that once an area is burnt, the grass germinates and grows faster. Also, some farmers are lazy and reluctant to cultivate using their hands; instead, they burn the grass and till the soil to plant.

The result is burning all the grass which affects the ecosystem. All the grass including seeds are burnt and some times since seeds are also burnt, germination becomes impossible.

Swamps are valuable and offer vital benefits including flood control, groundwater recharge, pollution cleanup, wildlife habitat, as well as recreation. However, in Uganda, It’s very unfortunate that in most of these swamps have been cleared and already replaced with roads and houses, hence making the areas susceptible to floods. These have washed away people’s food leading to hunger.

An example; Butalejja, a new district in the Eastern part of Uganda where most swamps have been cleared for cultivation of crops like rice and the result is stagnant water and floods leading to many cases of malaria in the area.

On top of drinking water for survival, it’s where we fish, swim and perform other recreational activities like camping and many more.

Clearing of land needs to be stopped in order to increase food security in the area and reduce hunger.

Farmers are advised to immediately replace the burnt and cut trees and stop the act of burning. This will increase food security and death dew to hunger.