Eastern and Southern Africa Small-scale Farmers’ Forum (ESAFF) Uganda participates at the 1st Eastern Africa Agroecology Conference

Ronald Bagaga, Policy Officer engaging participants

NAIROBI: The ongoing 1st Eastern Africa Agroecology conference is taking place in Nairobi Kenya until 24th of March with the main themes of strengthening resilience and sustainability in food and systems for environmental and socioeconomic development.

 ESAFF is one among the organisations exhibiting. Its mission is nurturing the participation of small scale farmers in sustainable development processes, for self-reliance through advocacy, capacity building and institutional development. The conference is a big platform for them to showcase their works so far in the agroecology world.

According to Mr. Ronald Bagaga, Policy Officer – ESAFF Uganda this first day of the conference, exhibition participation appreciated the information shared by ESAFF Uganda. A participant known as Joel Kimalit is said to have fully understood the organisations’ work after reading through a few materials like the publication about training videos on ecological organic agriculture. “I appreciate your efforts that you are influencing to engage parliament, president and small scale farmers”. It’s unfortunate that the government representatives weren’t given the opportunity to have a glimpse of the exhibitions.

After four years it has a chance to showcase information materials on farmer managed seed systems, land rights work, organic agriculture, and the learning initiative of Agroecology school of journalists and communicators to the participants.

ESAFF booth

Mr. Hakim Baliraine, Chairperson of ESAFF Uganda being one of the panelists of the day admitted how agroecology moves together with the people and the health of the soil. He however called upon policy makers to support small scale farmers who are doing a tremendous job to feed the nation. “Our farmers are teachers, innovators and should not be taken for granted,” he said.

ESAFF Uganda has a number of small-scale farmers who are members and through it has nurtured them to produce food for a substantial proportion being environmental stewards who adopt practices such as mulching, intercropping, and agroforestry, which are essential for mitigating the risk of drought in the short term and developing productive, sustainable, and resilient food systems over the long term.

Ms. Irene Nakijoba as a small-scale farmer at ESAFF Uganda speaking at the conference. Believes that agroecology can feed the world. “If we change the mindset starting from our children, from soil conservation, then how food is grown to preparation in the kitchen and learn all from childhood the benefits of agroecology, the nutritional values and then they will spread the gospel to other children around them then we shall achieve the goal”.

Ms. Irene Nakijoba speaking among the participants

ESAFF together with Kulika Uganda still partnering with the Ecological Organic Agriculture Initiative (EOA-I) have combined efforts to support farmers with a promise for increasing the productivity of Africa’s smallholder farms. Kulika who are also exhibiting processed wine, juice, tomato sauce and chilli sauce produced by small scale farmers.

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