aBi is proud to be associated with the Seeds of Gold initiative of Monitor Publications Ltd as it is in line with our strategic objective of strengthening the competitiveness of Uganda’s agricultural and agro-processing sectors, through provision of various interventions including: Value Chain Development (dairy, horticulture, coffee, cereals, pulses and oilseeds); Financial Services Development (including SACCO consolidation and reorganization, Loan Guarantees, Lines of Credit, Development of Insurance Services and Business Development Support). All these interventions compliment public and commercial investments in the agricultural sector to facilitate the realization of the Competitiveness and Investment Climate Strategy and the Uganda Vision 2040.
This year’s theme of Climate Smart Farming is aligned to the aBi Green Growth Strategy. Regarding climate smart farming, various studies confirm that with a very high population growth and a continued dependence on agriculture as a driver of economic growth, Uganda is vulnerable to climate change and land degradation. In addition, decline in productivity in key sectors such as coffee and maize, and extreme weather events, such as droughts and floods, already show signs of the impact of climate change in Uganda and across the region.
Therefore, aBi believes that the management and mitigation of climate change is of critical importance, as the lack of which, will greatly impact our investments in the agri-business sector and ultimately, the agricultural sector fortunes of Uganda. At aBi we understand Green Growth to mean developing an agricultural sector, in a climate smart and sustainable way through Climate Change adaptation and mitigation, and this is what has informed our interventions in the area of Climate Smart agri-business.
Since 2014, aBi has been implementing a Green Growth strategy with the main objective of increasing awareness, enhancing adaptation and mitigation against the impact of climate change. Therefore, aBi has various mechanisms in place to support agri-businesses with climate smart investments, that are helping them to become resilient to climate change, and at the same time have direct economic benefits, for their growth. Our Green Growth investments are centred around 4 areas namely; Reducing Green House Gas Emission (including; promoting renewable energy options as alternative to fossil fuel powered equipment); Resource efficiency (including: sustainable use of land and water); Resilience (including: adapting to climate change by investing in climate smart technologies and practices such as rain water harvesting, irrigation equipment, drying and storage capacity, enriching soil, using data from weather station and tree planting); and Protection of biodiversity and ecosystems (including: ensuring efficient application of chemicals and fertilisers).
Furthermore, we have also observed that most agribusinesses in Uganda do not have the capacities to adopt green growth measures and this has prompted us to extend both technical services and financing support to overcome this through provision of the Clean Technology Fund and Value Chain Development.
Some of the climate smart concepts that Agricultural Business Initiative is currently working with, include: adding value to agricultural waste; Irrigation solutions for Robusta coffee; construction of waste water treatment plants for the dairy sector; solar drying equipment for improving post harvesting handling in the grain and horticulture sectors; energy efficient cooling equipment for the dairy sector; and electricity production using biomass gasification.
We call upon all our Implementing Partners and other stakeholders to participate in the farm clinics and the Symposium.
By George Mutagubya,
Advocacy & Communications Manager, aBi
(This article run in the 27th May 2017, Daily Monitor, Seeds of Gold Magazine)