By Regina Kayoyo
‘Sustainable Agriculture’! Fast degradation, low yields, ever increasing population, high mortality rates, increased demand, fragmentation, increased hunger and malnutrition, climatic problems, among others are a few challenges that plague agriculture at the national level. The dire need to change this situation has given way to a new type of principle for strategic development, a principle embedded in approaches that promote the transition to ‘sustainability’.
To avert these challenges, the principle of sustainable agriculture should be regarded with the utmost importance. To be sustainable, agriculture must meet the needs of present and future generations for its products and services, while ensuring profitability, environmental health and social and economic equity. The global transition to sustainable food and agriculture will require major improvements in the efficiency of resource use, in environmental protection and in systems resilience. Key within these principles should be the promotion of practical solutions that must be taught and imparted onto our farmers in the country to attain this goal. Practicality in this sense means appropriate methods that are economically viable, social acceptable and environmentally friendly. Civil Society Organizations, development partners, academia, government and other partners should invest in practical, breakable, beneficial and simple solutions to our farmers or communities that we work in.
Uganda Joint Christian Council (UJCC) organized a one week training that brought together different partners at the national level in the concluded week. This training looked to imparting the same principle that has been mentioned above. Promoting the use of practical knowledge to promote sustainable agriculture in Uganda.
In a bid to improve efficiency in the use of resources which is crucial to sustainable agriculture, this training emphasized the use of everyday materials that are at our disposal to farm, that are in direct action to conserve, protect and enhance natural resources. Specifically, these practices included ‘do-it-yourself’ farming methods for example quick soil fertility management techniques like the use of homemade vegetation compost manure, Boma compost, liquid manure, plant tea manure, trench compost, and basket compost.
All these different types of soil fertility management techniques where made with home based material that any farmer would get readily and easily in a farm. To conserve land use, this training provided knowledge on ways to use small land sustainably through farming techniques like the lazy-man’s garden and the kitchen garden among others that can reduce the use of land. Sustainable agricultural practices to our farmers must make much greater integration of local knowledge that looks to reducing strain on the environment and financial strain to farmers.