Ugandan Agric Ministry pioneer development of climate change mainstreaming guidelines

Group photograph of participants at the workshop.
Group photograph of participants at the workshop.

The Ugandan Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF), with support from IITA-led Policy Action for Climate Change Adaptation (PACCA) project, and USAID Feed the Future Enabling Environment for Agriculture (USAID-EEA), organized a national level stakeholder workshop to validate the recently developed Climate Change Mainstreaming Guidelines for the Agricultural Sector in Uganda.

The validation workshop was held on 29 January in Mukono. Stakeholders from government ministries, departments, and agencies, farmer organizations, civil society organizations, private sector, development partners, research institutions, academia, and the media attended.

“MAAIF recognizes that climate change impacts can only be tackled through collaborative efforts,” Sunday Mutabaazi, chairperson of the MAAIF climate change task force, said in his opening remarks.

The guidelines are in line with the national ones developed by the National Planning Authority (NPA) in partnership with Climate Change Department (CCD) in 2014 to harmonize sector specific guidelines and ensure that they are aligned to national development plans.

The draft agriculture sector guidelines were developed through a consultative bottoms-up approach led by MAAIF that took nearly a year starting in November 2014.

During the validation workshop, the participants, grouped by subsectors (crop, livestock, and fisheries), scrutinized the document and gave their inputs.

Their feedback will be consolidated and integrated into the draft guidelines to be approved by the ministry, and rolled out for implementation by different climate change participants.

“Once validated, stakeholders at all levels should ensure that the guidelines are implemented,” said Chebet Maikut, commissioner, Climate Change Department, Ministry of Water and Environment. He appealed to the districts that had not integrated climate change into their District Development Plans to urgently do so.

The guidelines will facilitate mainstreaming of climate change issues into the agriculture sector policies, plans, programs, and activities by providing basic and flexible guidance on entry points. They also include basic steps and tools on how to mainstream climate change adaptation into agriculture policy processes.

PACCA is a CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) flagship project (policies and institutions) implemented by IITA, the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), and Bioversity International.

Agriculture stakeholders in Tanzania hail CGIAR move on integration

Stakeholders in the agricultural sector in Tanzania support the move by CGIAR to integrate the activities of the different centers and research programs (CRPs) and to better align with the country’s priorities in developing its agriculture sector.

Participants at the CGIAR site integration workshop, Tanzania.
Participants at the CGIAR site integration workshop, Tanzania.

The stakeholders agreed on this at a national consultation workshop on CGIAR “site integration” that was held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on 4 December 2015 organized by IITA on behalf of CGIAR and CRPs working in the country. The aim was to discuss how CGIAR/CRPs can work better together and align their activities and research agenda to the country’s priorities. This was the second such workshop organized by IITA for CGIAR; the first one was held in Abuja, Nigeria, in November 2015.

The participants were drawn from the different ministries, national agricultural research systems (NARS), universities, NGOs, donor community, private sector, and farmers’ groups.

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives, Sophia Kaduma, said that integration across the different CRPs and with a wide range of national partners and stakeholders in the agricultural sector can enhance the outcomes of CGIAR’s research agenda.

She noted the potential of the agriculture sector in Tanzania’s efforts to reduce poverty and achieve its developmental goals of shifting to a middle-income economy by 2025, and reiterated the role of research and development to improve agriculture and combat climate change and her government’s commitment to R&D.

Representatives from the donor community including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Irish Aid, USAID, and the World Bank also support the move, which is expected to lead to more efficient use of donor funding and reduction of duplication of efforts.

“Integration” and “alignment” were viewed as important in ensuring that development projects focused on the country’s priorities and not the donors/centers’ whims.

Representatives from the farming communities and the private sector were also at the forum and highlighted some of the challenges they faced. “Farming has to be profitable. As farmers, we face many issues including poor extension services. The extension staff are few, without resources. We are therefore unable to access new technologies from research. Therefore the integration should look at how to support extension to reach farmers,” said Omary Mwaimu from AMSHA Institute.

Participants at the event identified areas where CGIAR/CRP support was needed:

  • Dissemination and adoption of new technologies from research.
  • Business and enterprise development to enable farmers to make money from farming.
  • Capacity building of local researchers especially in areas such as biotechnology.
  • Value addition and management of postharvest losses.
  • Productivity improvement with focus on climate change – one of the major challenges facing smallholder farmers who need support in terms of what crops to grow in the face of climate change.
  • Sustainable intensification of smallholder systems to increase agricultural production and productivity on the same land size but at the same time taking care of their natural resources.

At the end of the workshop, participants came up with a framework for site integration that could help identify the issues and sites as well as suggestions on how to govern and implement the integration, how to monitor and evaluate impact and communicate both within the partners in the integration framework and with external audiences and partners.

For site integration to work, participants agreed that adequate resources should go into its implementation, and to ensure that all the partners are able see the benefit of being part of the integrated approach.

New project launched to address impacts of climate change and variability in cocoa-based farming systems

In Ghana, the world’s second largest exporter of cocoa, a significant impact on smallholder farming in the cocoa belt has been projected from the trend in climate change and variability. To forestall this, CGIAR through its global Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) research program, recently launched an initiative which uses “Climate-smart Agriculture” (CSA) to respond to farmers’ needs.

CSA includes many of the authentic measures that form the backbone of sustainable agriculture. It is also capable of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from farming and helping farmers, the Government, companies, and NGOs to understand the risks posed by climate change and manage them better, thus becoming more resilient.

This new CCAFS project focuses on mainstreaming CSA in cocoa-based farming systems through applied climate science, certified supply chains, and impact investing. Specific attention will be given to ways in which public and private actors can collaborate to promote whole-system adaptation that is viable over the medium to long term and includes the rural poor, particularly vulnerable groups. The project uses existing value chain interventions with smallholder coffee and cocoa systems in Africa and Latin America as model cases.

It will translate climate science into adaptable strategies for farmers and supporting actors including industry, certifiers, and investors. This novel combination adds value to existing work with the goal of achieving widespread adoption for locally relevant CSA practices.

The project aims to do the following.

Assess the climate change exposure of cocoa systems at a subnational scale,

Develop appropriate CSA practices with farmers incorporating cash crops and food crops to increase the resilience of these systems, and

Codify these practices in adaptation guidelines. These guidelines will be made available through existing curricula for certification training and used to develop innovative impact investment products that will help to finance and increase the adoption of adaptation strategies.
To achieve the expected results the project will be implemented by preeminent actors in agricultural climate science: International Center for Tropical Agriculture and IITA, using also voluntary certification (Rainforest Alliance), impact investing (Root Capital), and sustainable agricultural systems (the Sustainable Food Lab).

As a first step to start work, the project team on 13 May convened the first in a series of multi-stakeholder platform meetings with key actors from the cocoa sector in Ghana. The workshop also provided the opportunity to map existing activities of stakeholders and assess how the project could add value to ongoing work in Ghana through partnerships with actors such as COCOBODCRIG, trading houses, and producers’ organizations. The outcome of this first workshop are the seeds for a sweet collaboration that will help Ghanaian cocoa farmers to increase their resilience to climate change and keep consumers happy with chocolate for many more years to come.


Creating future scenarios to review policies in Uganda and Tanzania

Policymakers, researchers, and development practitioners from Tanzania and Uganda are reviewing various policies in their countries by developing socioeconomic and climate scenarios. The scenarios created will help identify and address gaps in the policies.   

This started with a series of workshops organized by the Policy Action and Climate Change Action (PACCA) project in collaboration with respective national partners in the two countries and the University of Oxford.

A cross-section of the participants from Uganda at the workshop.
A cross-section of the participants from Uganda at the workshop.

The project, launched last year, is supporting Uganda and Tanzania in the development of policies that are climate resilient; it is led by IITA and is part of the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) Flagship Program on Policies and Institutions on Climate-Resilient Food.

Dr Edidah Ampaire from IITA Uganda,  the PACCA Project Coordinator, said that the scenarios were important tools to help in policy analysis. “What we want to see are inclusive and better informed policies that are climate resilient and that provide for the well-guided investment of resources,” she said.

“The use of scenarios helps policymakers to engage strategically with such complex and uncertain issues as climate change. The participants developed diverse, challenging scenarios and used them to ‘crash test’  the policy to understand its strengths and weaknesses, get ideas to improve on it, and make it more robust,” said Joost Vervoort, a Scenarios Officer for CCAFS at the Environmental Change Institute, Oxford University.

In Tanzania, the new Environmental Policy was reviewed at the two-day workshop, held 16–17 February at Morogoro, and organized in collaboration with the Division of Environment at the Vice President’s office.

Speaking during the official opening of the workshop, Dr Julius Ningu, the Director of the Division of Environment at the Vice President’s Office, noted that the workshop came at an opportune moment as the country was revising its Environmental Policy. He explained that the country’s current National Environmental Policy had been set up in 1997 and was therefore not responsive to some of the emerging environmental issues. These included climate change, biofuels, and genetically modified organisms as well as invasive alien species and electronic and electronic equipment wastes (e-Wastes). Therefore the Government through the Vice President’s Office had initiated a comprehensive review of the policy. In Uganda, the policymakers converging in Jinja, 19-20 February, used the scenarios crafted to develop the first drafts of an implementation plan for the country’s National Agriculture Policy (NAP) and revise the Mechanization Framework (MF) summary.

National Learning Alliance prioritizes climate change policy action in Tanzania

A National Learning alliance was created
at the end of last year to facilitate the sharing of information, knowledge, and experiences as well as carrying out joint policy engagement action on climate change particularly in relation to food security in Tanzania. The Alliance has identified key priority areas to focus on and further developed an action plan to help meet its objectives.

Climate change actors from government and non government organizations present at the workshop. At centre (blue suit) a guest of Honor .Eng. Angelina Madete, Deputy Permanent Secretary at Vice President Office.
Climate change actors from government and non government organizations present at the workshop. At centre (blue suit) a guest of Honor .Eng. Angelina Madete, Deputy Permanent Secretary at Vice President Office.

The one-day workshop was held on 31 March in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. During the event, various case studies for policy engagement were presented and
discussed including on climate change financing mechanisms, institutional capacity needs and entry points for mainstr­eaming climate change adaptation into development planning, water use efficient technologies and approaches for climate, among others.

The learning alliance is sponsored by the Policy Action for Climate Change
Adaptation (PACCA)
project of the Climate Change Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) of CGIAR and led by IITA. It is being implemented in both Uganda and Tanzania. In Tanzania, the project is coordinated by the Environmental Management Unit (EMU) of the Ministry of Agriculture Food Security and Cooperatives (MAFC) as well as the Vice President’s Office.

The project is being implemented in collaboration with the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), Bioversity International, and World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF).

Speaking at the meeting, the Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Vice President’s Office, Engr Angeline Madete, said the National Learning Alliance was an important platform to strengthen climatic change policy action in the country from national to local levels especially for developing climate resilient food systems.

She therefore urged all the actors in the Alliance to continue sharing their knowledge and experiences on policy action to support the farming community cope with climate change, to develop a climate change communication strategy as well as guidelines for monitoring and evaluation of initiatives addressing climate change in the country.

Perez Muchunguzi, a multistakeholder specialist with IITA based in Kampala, said the goal of the learning alliance was to bring together all the different climate change actors in the two countries (Uganda and Tanzania) to identify opportunities and policy gaps.

Muchunguzi said the Tanzania learning alliance, at its formation, had settled on four thematic areas to work on based on the major gaps and challenges identified in the country related to climate change and policy action. These are financial resources, capacity building, institutional arrangement and policy issues, and information sharing and knowledge management.

“By the end of the meeting, each of the four groups came up with action plans for policy engagement. They varied from short-term issues such as putting together a climate change adaptation database to developing climate change policy,” he said. “It is important for the groups to prioritize and start with doable actions so the Learning Alliance members can be motivated as we continue learning together.”

He added that one of the targets of the national learning alliance was to set up at least two district learning alliances to get closer to the farmers and to where policy implementation takes place. “This will enhance effective implementation of proposed policies at district level,” said Muchunguzi.

The selected districts for setting up District Learning Alliances are Lushoto and Kilosa in Tanzania.

The meeting was attended by members of the learning alliance drawn from climate change actors from central and local governments, national and international research organizations, civil society including farmers’ organizations, the private sector, and the media.

Preparing Uganda and Tanzania for future climate challenges through engagement and scenario-building

The Policy Action for Climate Change Adaptation (PACCA) project is building a more climate-responsive future with policy-makers in Tanzania and Uganda.

A targeted approach, with scientists working directly with policy-makers and smallholders finding solutions to agriculture and climate related issues, could be the key to scaling-up climate-smart farming. This is exactly what the Policy Action for Climate Change (PACCA) project, led by the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), is aiming for. The four-year climate project is part of the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and  Food Security (CCAFS) Flagship on “Policies and Institutions for Climate-Resilient Food Systems”.

Testing policies against future socio-economic scenarios

By striking up collaboration with CCAFS Future Scenarios team, the PACCA project invited stakeholders to review the National Agriculture Policy and Mechanization Framework in Uganda as well as the new National Environment Policy in Tanzania, testing the policies against multiple, all highly potential scenarios for the two countries. The scenarios were used as a ‘crash test’ to make the policy frameworks more climate-sensitive and robust.

In mid-February participants came for two consecutive national workshops in Tanzania and Uganda. The stakeholders represented the Vice President’s Office, Prime Minister’s Office, and Ministry of Agriculture, of Livestock and Fisheries Development in Tanzania and in Uganda, the Ministry of Water and Environment and Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries.

Read the whole story at: Preparing Uganda and Tanzania for future climate challenges through engagement and scenario-building| CCAFS: CGIAR research program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security.

Watch Project Coordinator Edidah Ampaire talk about the PACCA project, who the team is working with and main challenges faced so far:

Creating future scenarios to inform new Tanzanian environmental policy

Tanzania launches policy action to contain climate change adversities on the economy

Tanzania, Uganda launch climate change pact