Why Government should preserve Indigenous Climate Change Adaptation Practices
It is estimated that Agriculture sector employs over 60% of the population (ASSP, 2015/16-2019/20). The Agriculture sector in Uganda is dominated by Smallholder farmers (Uganda Vision 2040). Small scale farmers face a number of challenges as they try to adapt to climate change using indigenous practices. The indigenous adaptation practices often increase productivity as well as forming a basis for coping with climate change. Integration of indigenous knowledge in climate forecasts works well as it helps farmers to adapt to climate change and its variability as indigenous knowledge is put into practice (ESAFF Study, 2015). A number of studies have cited that the ability of small scale farmers to cope and adapt with climate change depends on a number of factors such as technology, education, awareness creation and information, infrastructure and management capabilities among others which need to be addressed for small scale farmers to adequately use indigenous practices and knowledge in adapting to climate change in Uganda.
Some of the concerns of Small Scale Farmers on indigenous practices to climate change adaptation include;
1. Disappearance of indigenous knowledge due to absence of clear measures to preserve and conserve it.
2. Minimum involvement of grassroots small scale farmers in climate change related policy and programme development
3. Slow implementation of the Uganda National Climate Change Policy.
4. The Uganda National Climate Change Policy is very silent on indigenous practices to climate change by small scale farmers.
5. Many of the small scale farmers are faced with pests and diseases which affect their crops and animals.
6. Poor post-harvest handling of produces for example drying and storage facilities.
7. Absence functional district weather stations to produce timely district and sub-county specific weather and rainfall forecast.
From all the analysis of the different Agriculture related policies, strategies, plans and related programmes, it is evident that there are NO clear measures put in place to preserve or conserve the indigenous practices to climate change adaptation by small scale farmers in Uganda.
To Central Government
Small Scale farmers in Uganda recommend the following to the Central Government;
1. There is an urgent need to document and preserve indigenous knowledge on climate adaption by small scale farmers.
2. Need to consult rural communities when planning adaptation techniques in-order to facilitate engagements and participations.
3. An urgent need to implement the Uganda National Climate Change Policy
4. Government should integrate climate change adaptation using indigenous practices in the current livelihood programs.
5. Need to create awareness of climate change and its impacts among the population especially in rural areas.
6. Need to improve on rural infrastructures relevant to small scale farmers to facilitate their adaptation to climate change
7. Need to handle climate change as a national security issue since it affects food security and movement of people
To Lower Local Governments
The small scale farmers in Uganda recommend the following to the Local Governments;
1. Need to use community radios while communicating weather and rainfall information to small scale farmers.
2. Climate change information should be in a language that is convenient to small scale farmers.
3. Need to revitalize and equip district weather stations relevant to small scale farmers in their localities.
4. Need to create climate change watch units at district and village level
5. Need to consider rural women when planning different programmes for the district