WAKISO - Ugandans have been urged to embrace agro-ecology, an agricultural method that increases food production without compromising natural resources.
The practice sustains the health of ecosystems as it increases food production, thus preserving the environment.
Kulika-Uganda, is one of the non-governmental organizations whose major aim is to train farmers in ecological, organic agriculture and provide support to the trained farmers. It has tested the Agro-ecology technologies and confirms that they yield high returns and transform livelihoods because food grown using environmentally friendly agricultural practices has a special money value.
However, Grace Musimenta, the Executive Director, Agency for Integrated Rural Development said that limited research and undermining agro-ecology by terming it as a backward practice hinders its penetration in Ugandan communities.
Another challenge is the scarcity of farming inputs to sustain the agro-ecology.
Musimenta however said that the Agency for Integrated Rural Development is working hard to ensure availability of farming inputs like bio fertilizers, biosillary, and vermi-composite like biochar for farmers to embrace the practice.
Robert Guloba, Program Officer of Sustainable Farming at Participatory Ecological Land use Management (PELUM Uganda) cited chronic diseases among human beings, destroying nature through use of chemicals to control pests and massive loss of the country's biodiversity as some of the disadvantages of using industrial agriculture.
He thus called upon Ugandans to rethink ways of increasing food production without damaging nature.
Some of the farmers trained in practicing Agro-ecology in Namayumba, Wakiso district commended the development.
Lovinsa Sematte; We learnt a lot about terracing, bee keeping, saving for future purposes. Things were not easy but now we are training a number of youths and others. We have impacted on the lives of the people.
Nakalanzi Deborah; I was taught how to add value to some of the things I grow in the garden. I grow soybeans, beans and cassava. But after I have confirmed my skills I would want to go for large scale production of my products and supply around my area of residence.
Diversity is very important. Burning of forests is not a good thing and spraying is killing microorganisms in the soil.