Friday, August 24, 2012

Technology will help Ugandan farmers cope with climate change

Esther Nakkazi in  Ugandan cattle farmers are set to benefit from the use of information and communications technology (ICT) tools and meteorological data to improve their ability to adapt to climate change-induced hazards such as water stress and prolonged droughts.

Climate Change Adaptation and ICT (CHAI), a two-year project launched in Kampala earlier this month (3 August), will generate agricultural, environmental management, market and meteorological information for herdsmen in Uganda's 'cattle corridor'.

The corridor — a broad dryland area covering 84,000 square kilometres from southwest to northeast Uganda, and home to 12 million people and about 60 per cent of the country's seven million cattle — is one of the African areas hardest hit by climate change.

"When there is a crisis like a prolonged drought, herdsmen sell their animals as a coping strategy. We will provide them with information to cope and make choices," said Berhane Gebru, director of programmes at the US-based FHI360-Satellife, a non-profit development organisation helping to implement the project.

The US$600,000 project, funded by Canada's International Development Research Centre (IDRC), will provide users with ICT tools to collect and disseminate information. The data generated will be reliable, timely, accurate and appropriate for planning on water-related climate risks and adaptation options....

Climbing beans in southwestern Uganda, shot by Neil Palmer (CIAT), Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license

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