GREEN GROWTH STRATEGY
Green growth is defined as
A model of economic growth, targeting: poverty reduction, job creation, social inclusion and environmental sustainability, climate change mitigation, biodiversity loss and security of access to clean energy and water (By Global Green Growth Institute – GGGI).
Recognizing the fact that the population is rapidly increasing and the natural resources are greatly strained and in fact some under greater threats, it is the responsibility of Farm Solutions to engage farmers in the adoption of farming techniques and practices that will ensure that agriculture contributes to increasing potential earnings and productivity and enhances the competitiveness of agricultural businesses. Indeed, Green growth is about opportunities and creating higher incomes and should not be used as conditionality or a barrier to trade. Instead, it should help generate more jobs, particularly for the vast numbers of young people. Green growth must be inclusive (not neglecting women and children) and underpinned by social measures to ensure that no one is left behind. This is actually already very well integrated in Farm Solutions Africa’s business growth and development strategy.
By adopting green growth as a gross cutting issue, Farm Solutions Africa will ensure that on top of the above, it identifies efficient and sustainable management opportunities that lower utilization of natural resources (footprint). The key to success is to become more efficient with the available natural recourses. For example by achieving more crop productivity, while using the same land. Or by applying nutrients in a smart way to enable farmers to triple their production, while their soils remain healthy and do not become depleted. In other words: do more with less. Ultimately, Green Growth aims to secure future crop production and structurally improve long-term income levels of small producers.
Carrots can be intercropped with straight crops to provide ground cover, supplementary family income and nutrition. The carrot shoot system is never harvested and can be ploughed back to add organic matter. As expected that in dense cropping carrot roots tend to be too small to the appeal of buyers and so alternative uses such as converting them into food for pigs, poultry and rabbits can be adopted by farmers.
Sun Hemp has been found out to add enormous quantities of Nitrogen into the soil there by reducing farmers reliance on Inorganic fertilizers that are very expensive and active soil and water pollutants. Sun hemp seeds can also be used to make high protein animal feeds and edible oil. When used as an improved fallow, sun hemp can be incorporated into the soil (in situ) as green manure. It is significant in breaking pest and disease cycles and can be used as barrier fence for vegetable crops vulnerable to aphids and white flies-Evaluations of its effectiveness on going on various farms.
THE MAJOR CHALLENGES AND INTERVENTIONS
Over Ten (10) million Ugandan farmers havee low productivity caused by sub-optimal cultivation techniques, the increasing loss of ecosystems like swamps and forest (More than 50% at total loss) and increasing levels of soil degradation.
The intervention aims at how sustainably yields and quality can be increased, improving farmer’s business knowledge and improving access to financial and agricultural services providers, by the following interventions:
- Adopt climate resilient agenda in farm planning and management plans.
- Accelerate farmers access to improved and high yielding seeds
- Reduce agricultural footprint and improve productivity
- Increase production with 60%
- Reduce fertilizer use and dependency by 50%
- Increased total cropped area under legume intercropping systems.
- Increase use of improved fallow systems in the rotational crop cycles e.g Sunphem
- Introduce a shade system (40 trees/Ha or total around 400,000 trees)
- nutrient recycling (compositing)
- Rehabilitation & full renovation of at least 300 Ha
- Reduce environmental footprint (Co2, water, biodiversity) by ~10% over 12 months.
- Declining yields, caused by lack of shade trees (especially from the Leguminacea family) and Lack of erosion control strategies, combined with large scale deforestation for firewood and commercial use has put a high pressure on the remaining resources.
The following interventions are planned to counter the trends.
- Reintroduction of shade trees combined with GAP to increase resilience to climate change and generate significant higher crop yields. As the farming systems become more productive deforestation pressure will decrease. >
- Promote the inclusion of high value cover crops in compatible vegetable and fruit fields
- Build new income streams. The timber species used are local and high value over time (pension plan). In the mid-long term, income is generated through the sale from pruning/thinning. Additionally, as the shade trees act as carbon sinks storing/converting C02, the farmers can also start selling carbon credits. Vegetable and fruit output has declined to an all time low, mainly due to increasing temperatures, depleted soils, neglect and low rainfall (due to deforestation).
The interventions planned.
A ‘shade tree regime’ on 50 hectares. The overall horticultural production is expected to increase with at least 30% and the improved farming techniques will generate a higher percentage of quality horticultural produce especially hot pepper. In same time, the trees will provide timber for domestic construction, representing a conservative value of US $0.3, million. The pruning will be used for composting. This also generates 7.000 Ton of Co2.
Over 90% of the population in this area depends on firewood for fuel, putting high pressure on the remaining forest resources leading to soil depletion, landslides and decreasing yields.
The intervention here is aimed at countering these trends, at increasing resilience of the farming system and at improving income levels of the farmers
by introducing; At least 1300 improved cook-stoves to reduce deforestation by 50%, improve health and time efficiency of family members and to generate carbon credits to receive a premium and improve the overall negotiation position of the farmers – Planting 0.5 million trees (25% Fruit lots, 40% timber, 35 conservation) to boost productivity, enable a pension fund and restore the overall ecosystem (soil erosion, water retention, etc).