The combination of good soils and a favourable climate define the high potential of the agricultural sector of Uganda. The country has the largest land area under organic agriculture production in Africa. For both crop production and livestock management, the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry & Fisheries selected and elaborated two climate policy options.
In 2015 the Ministry of Agriculture approached UNDP to assist them with defining priorities and mobilise the available expertise within the Ministry develop climate policies for the agricultural sector. Shifting Paradigms was appointed to support this process.
All stakeholders were brought together in a workshop on internationally supported climate policies. By structuring a long-list of ten policy directions in a multi-criteria analysis, two options were selected for further elaboration. Together with experts from the ministry, relevant agencies and private sector, two climate policy concept notes were drafted.
Agricultural practices and measures which will be considered to enhance soil carbon can be brought together in the term conservation agriculture. This involves achieving a sustainable and profitable agricultural practice which aims at:
- Minimising soil disturbance (e.g. low tillage),
- Permanent soil cover,
- Optimised crop rotation,
- The promotion of increased carbon input from organic amendments (mulching, use of animal manure, compost, crop residues, sewage sludge).
Indirect N2O emissions from managed soils are with 15.7 MtCO2e/year the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions from the Ugandan agricultural sector. The emissions can be reduced by maintaining soil fertility by reducing leaching, run-off and soil erosion by the use of cover crops, terraces or dykes. Secondly, N2O emissions can be reduced by more effective application of non-organic fertiliser or reduced fertiliser use through:
- organic farming,
- the adoption of standards for the application of nitrogen and informing farmers of the actual needs of their crops,
- the use of intercrop or rotational N-fixing legumes,
- providing guidance on soil preparation and on the most suitable moment to apply fertiliser,
- improved irrigation,
- crop rotation.
The concept note explores which measures can be backed with business models in which farmers both reduce emissions, and are more productive and climate resilient.
Climate smart livestock
Climate smart livestock combines three objectives: 1. sustainably increasing agricultural productivity and incomes; 2. adapting and building resilience to climate change; 3. reducing and/or removing greenhouse gas emissions.
Only measures which are backed by a convincing business model will be scalable and be able to continue also after the internatioal support for the climate programme is terminated. The mitigation measures which will be considered to reduce emissions from enteric fermentation and manure management are:
- Identifying appropriate feeding strategies and practices that increase productivity while at the same time reduce methane emissions from enteric fermentation.
- Identifying appropriate feed additives, including plant extracts (condensed tannins, saponins, essential oils) and rumen modifiers (yeast, bacterial direct fed microbials, and enzymes), which reduce methane emissions from enteric fermentation.
- Identifying investment opportunities for improved feeding and manure management. Examples of improved manure management are the use of bio-digesters, where manure is used to produce biogas and sludge. The biogas can be used for cooking or as a source of energy for the processing of agricultural products. The sludge can be applied as fertiliser.
The business cases for these measures can built upon improved livestock health, cost reduction through achieving the highest feedstock quality (highest achievable digestibility) at the least costs, increased product value due to better product quality and/or certification, energy recovery from manure and/or the application of sludge as fertiliser.
Partners: Greenovation, Monika Zurek