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November 22nd, 2016 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow and farmer Michael Ssali writes: Every year, 12 million hectares of land is degraded due to drought and desertification according to the 2016 Global Food Report.

The farmers who attended the second National Coffee Festival at Mandela National Stadium, Nambole, on November 4 were introduced to the Coffee Drought Indexed Insurance, which will be rolled out to interested farmers across the country in the coming months. One of the key speakers at the function, Joost Derwoerd, the director of Earth Environment Monitoring/Resilient Africa Network, told them: “Farming is the biggest business in the world. But it is done under an open roof which makes it vulnerable to the ravages of nature.”

One of the biggest risks in farming especially for us in Uganda is drought. The scheme, which is to be implemented in partnership with National Union of Coffee Agribusinesses and Farm Enterprises (Nucafe) should be embraced and given the support it deserves.

The good news is that the government has pledged to pay 50 per cent of the premium for smallholder farmers.

As we begin to experience the effects of climate change such as the long drought that has devastated crops in the past few months, we must think harder about using water for enhancing agricultural production. See more