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African countries to discuss food security

By Wilfred Sanya

Added 24th April 2019 04:33 PM

ASAREKA member countries are to discuss ways of implementing new methods to increase agricultural productivity that adheres to climate change

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ASAREKA executive secretary Jean Mbonigaba (left) and agriculture minister Vincent Ssempijja after addressing the press conference in Entebbe. Photo by Wilfred Sanya

ASAREKA member countries are to discuss ways of implementing new methods to increase agricultural productivity that adheres to climate change

African countries will meet in Kampala to reposition themselves on how to increase food security.

The summit of the council of ministers for the Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASAREKA) scheduled for May 2-4 at Speke Resort Munyonyo in Kampala will also discuss integrated, sustainable technologies in Africa for smallholder farming systems.

Agriculture minister Vincent Ssempijja said during a press conference on Tuesday at his office in Entebbe that summit is organised under the theme ‘Repositioning ASAREKA Resilience for Accelerated African Agricultural Transformation’.

Ssempijja said that during the summit, member countries are to discuss ways of implementing new methods to increase agricultural productivity that adheres to climate change. He said they will also sharing improved ways of farming and research.

“The summit has been convened to endorse and launch a new way of doing things, as the highest governance organ of ASAREKA. The high-level dialogue on conservation agriculture-based sustainable intensification will also come up with methods of attracting farmers to new technologies,” said Ssempijja.

He said that conservation agriculture-based sustainable intensification (CASI) technologies practices require that farmers minimise soil disturbance through zero or reduce forms of tillage.

Ssempijja said that if the new approaches of CASI technologies and practices are used, they will attract youth to get more involved in agriculture. He added that this can be rechannelled into other farm and non-income generating activities.

Jean Mbonigaba the executive secretary of ASAREKA said a new approach involves many sectors of government including the private sector.

“We should move our farming methods which limit soil loss and erosion and this directly reduce desilt of our water bodies. Other sectors like environment, sanitation have a key role to play,” said Mbonigaba.

He said that the idea here is to address the root cause of invasive crops which are normally affected by bacteria that they can be overrun.

The principal research officer at the National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO), Drake Mubiru, said they have introduced technologies and specifications to mitigate the effects of drought.

“We introduced a new type of maize and beans which can grow in a hole dug in the ground able to capture water better than the ordinary maize. We also introduced the use of oxen and the rebar technology,” said Mubiru.

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