The UN Resident Coordinator, Ms. Rosa Malango (centre) and the Minister for Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, Hon. Vincent Ssempijja (2nd right) together with Ms. Priya Gujadhur, the FAO Deputy Country Representative and Mr Paul Mafabi, the Director Environmental Affairs in the Ministry of Water and Environment launch the NAP-Ag in Kampala on November 28, 2018. (Photo credit: UNDP Uganda 2018).

Kampala, 28th November 2018 - The Government of Uganda has launched its first ever National Adaptation Plan for the Agriculture Sector (NAP-Ag), which will guide policy, plans and climate smart actions in the sector.

“As the UN family, we are delighted to once again partner with the government to launch this initiative which will guide climate actions that enhance adaptation and build resilient communities that rely on agriculture,” Ms. Rosa Malango, during the NAP-Ag launch event held on 28th November 2018.

She noted that while the agriculture sector, which employs over 68 per cent of Ugandans and contributes 24% of the nation’s GDP has an important role to play in Uganda’s economic transformation, it’s contribution has slowed down due to the negative impacts of climate change.

“Farmers are no longer able to predict the right time to plant due to the erratic weather patterns and extreme weather conditions like flooding, prolonged droughts new pests and diseases, which have become the new normal. These have affected the overall productivity of the agricultural sector and the wellbeing of the families who depend on it for their livelihood,” Ms. Malango said, adding that the new framework will become one of the strategic guides on how to address these challenges.

The plan was developed by the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal industry and Fisheries (MAAIF), working closely with the Ministry of Water and Environment (MWE), with technical support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO).

It was developed under the, “Integrating Agriculture in National Adaptation Plans(NAP-Ag)” programme which supports countries to identify and integrate climate adaptation measures for the agricultural sector into relevant national planning and budgeting processes. The NAP-Ag programme is funded by the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the German Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), supports partner countries to identify and integrate climate adaptation measures for the agricultural sectors into relevant national planning and budgeting processes.

The Uganda NAP-Ag framework presents 21 priority adaptation options in the key areas of: crop production; livestock production; fisheries management; climate information, early warning and disaster preparedness; forestry, land and natural resources management; and research and knowledge management.

Speaking at the launch, the Minister for Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, Hon. Vincent Ssempijja said that addressing climate change required the concerted efforts of all relevant stakeholders including the United Nations, development partners, researchers and the academia. 

“l am glad that the agriculture sector is a champion in developing her sector specific National Adaptation Plan. This will support actions to reduce vulnerability to the impacts of climate change and facilitate the integration of climate change adaptation into relevant, new and existing programmes,” Hon. Sempijja said.

The launch was also attended by Ms. Priya Gujadhur, the FAO Deputy Country Representative, Mr Paul Mafabi, the Director Environmental Affairs in the Ministry of Water and Environment, Members of Parliament on the parliamentary forum for natural resources and climate change, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), academia and research institutions.

Ms. Gujadhur said FAO is convinced that promoting climate smart agriculture and addressing climate change challenges is key to increased, sustainable agricultural production, productivity, and food security.

“Farming is a business and apart from feeding people, it creates wealth, generates jobs and employment; empowers women, guarantees that well fed children are healthy and fosters a cohesive society and contributes to a balanced urban-rural population; stemming migration and ensuring political and national stability,” Ms. Gujadhur explained.

On his part, Mr. Mafabi, who represented the Minister of Water and Environment, urged stakeholders to fight against climate change impacts and adopt practices that help restore and conserve; wetlands, forests, water bodies and the environment.

“Each of us can do something to support this noble cause including growing trees, practicing climate smart agriculture, proper management of waste and using energy efficient cook stoves,” Mr. Mafabi said, adding that the NAP-Ag will be a reference as other sectors draw their National Adaptation Plans.

The NAP-Ag links Government commitments under the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Uganda developed the National Climate Change Policy (NCCP) and established the Climate Change Department (CCD) as one of the responses to this global challenge.

The Government of Uganda with technical support from UNDP in November also launched the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) Support Programme, to scale up public and private investment in climate change mitigation measures.

About the NAP-Ag

The NAP-Ag development process was supported by FAO, UNDP, MAAIF and the Climate Change Department of the Ministry of Water and Environment, which is the Focal Point for the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC).  Consultations of relevant stakeholders at local and central government on climate change challenges in the agricultural sector were conducted, in addition to assessing the different coping mechanisms at the time. This process informed the proposals on how climate change challenges can be best managed in the medium and long-term perspectives, which are now the adaptions options in the NAP-Ag for the different subsectors.

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