The dairy sector has strong exposure to the effects of climate change, especially during the dry season when in some parts of Uganda lack of water and animal feed results into diary stock deaths.
Holestain Fresian. Some farmers adopted such breeds but their milk yeilds remain loow due to poor feeds.Some of them die during drought.
Uganda is to receive over 1.8 billion Shillings for climate smart dairy farming as an adaptation measure for climate change effects on the dairy sector.
The money is provided by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) supported by the German and Australian governments.
The Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) says climate-smart agriculture is one that 'sustainably increases productivity, enhances resilience (adaptation), reduces or removes greenhouse gases and enhances achievement of national food security and development goals.
The funding for implementation of Uganda's Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action (NAMA) in the dairy sector comes amidst threats of climate change to livestock in the country.
Studies have found that Uganda's agricultural sector is one of the main emitters of greenhouse gases in the country and therefore requires adopting mitigation and adaptation measures.
Livestock production which contributes to about 7.5 percent to total GDP or 17 percent of agricultural Gross Domestic Product always gets hit hard by climatic changes.
Government identified milk as one of the 10 commodities of focus for the accelerated development of the agricultural sector. It is estimated that the dairy industry contributes 40 to 50 percent of livestock-related Gross Domestic Product.
The milk production has been growing at an annual rate of 8-10 percent per annum but has not fulfilled the demand for milk products in the country.
UNDP and Agriculture Ministry want to use the money to train farmers to adopts technologies that would increase milk production such as good feed production in all the regions. The dairy sector has strong exposure to the effects of climate change, especially during the dry seasons when lack of water and animal feed results into increased dairy stock deaths.
The UNDP Climate-smart Diary Livestock value Chain study found that existing policies do not address sufficiently the issues related to the quality of animal feed and that there are no standards developed in the dairy sector.
The absence of standards has according to the report prevented the implementation of wide-scale measures for the improvement of animal health and nutrition, as well as to increase of dairy sector productivity.
The report found that hay production has not been adequately addressed by the government yet it can be an easy solution for supplying quality feed to animals and securing fodder during the dry season.
It is hoped that teaching farmers on how to produce hay can prevent soil erosion, thus having a significant climate change adaptation effect.
It is planned that technical assistance will be channelled through the Ministry of Agriculture as the lead implementer of Uganda's Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action (NAMA).
Elwyn Grainger-Jones, Executive Director of the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) in an interview recently said smallholder farmers and those who primarily draw their incomes from agriculture value chains need to be supported to adapt to climate change and mitigate levels of greenhouse gas emissions.
He said technologies and policies already exist but need to be implemented to support smallholder farmers now and in the future.