Ugandan Farmers under their umbrella organisation Eastern and Southern Africa Small Scale Farmers Forum (ESAFF) have asked the government to increase agriculture sector budget allocation by 10 per cent in the next 2022/2023 national budget.
ESAFF Uganda is a membership organisation with members in 54 districts in Uganda. ESAFF Uganda is also part of a bigger network of small-scale farmers’ organisations (ESAFF) in other 15 countries in eastern and southern Africa. ESAFF Uganda is also a member of La Via Campesina (LVC) which is the largest peasant movement in the world
In a press conference held at organization headquarters in Ntinda a City suburb about the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP26), Hakim Baliraine Eastern and Southern Africa Small Scale Farmers Forum chairperson said that the current budget is not enough to address climate change impacts on agriculture besides the provision of extension services to spur food production.
The 26th UN Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP26) hosted by the United in partnership with Italy is taking place from 31st October to 12th November in the Scottish event campus of Glasgow.
Hakim further lashed out at the government for not honouring Maputo Declaration Protocol agreements that Uganda signed with partner states to increase agriculture budget allocation by 10 per cent to spur food production amidst climate change vagaries like low yields, pests and diseases.
“We are tired of empty promises and seeing government make a miserable budget allocation to the agriculture sector of 3%. We at least need agriculture budget allocation of 8% this will ensure the provision of agriculture extension services and farm inputs to spur food production,” Hakim Baliraine said.
At the Second Ordinary Assembly of the African Union in July 2003 in Maputo, African Heads of State and Government endorsed the “Maputo Declaration on Agriculture and Food Security in Africa” where every member state signed the protocol to increase agriculture funding by 10 per cent as a mechanism to curb climate crises.
In the same vein, Baliraine blasted developed countries namely China, America, Germany and Japan for gross pollution of the African continent.
“As we celebrate 25 years of progress towards food sovereignty, the COP26 agreements fall far short of ensuring food system they feed people in a way that is sensitive. We strongly believe that small scale farmers must be at the heart of the global climate crisis negotiations given the impact that climate change makes on agriculture and livelihood of small scale farmers especially women in the rural areas of Uganda.”
“……we want climate justice now. ESAFF Uganda strongly believes that agroecology achieves climate justice with proven serious solutions to climate crisis crucial for climate change mitigation and adaptation.COP26 parties must address the current financial limitations which are affecting the implementation of policies and programs that are focused on addressing climate change in an ecological manner,” he noted.
“We call on parties to desist from funding climate change policies and programs that don’t protect food sovereignty in Uganda,” Nakijjoba Irene a farmer from Mukono also told journalists at the conference.
ESAFF Uganda is a small scale farmer-led advocacy movement fired to facilitate processes through which small scale farmers development concerns are addressed through policies and programmes.