21st/09/2020: Kampala – Uganda – As we commemorate the International Day of Struggle against Monoculture Tree Plantations, Witness Radio – Uganda together with more than 730 members of Mozambican communities, and 120 organizations from 40 countries, have signed and released an Open Letter demanding the suspension of plans to expand such monoculture plantations in the Global South, especially in Africa.
The letter warns of the “real danger of a gigantic, worldwide expansion of monoculture tree plantations”, under the false pretext of ‘reforestation’. Governments of the Global North are placing their bets on this, while refusing to take the measures necessary to avoid climate chaos. Thus, they perpetuate the capitalist model of unfettered exploitation and destruction, mainly in countries of the Global South, to the benefit of the private profits of a few.
The letter denounces a report produced in 2019 by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and WWF-Kenya, which identifies 500,000 hectares of land in 10 African countries suited for industrial tree plantation by private companies. This report invites the Cooperation Agencies of North European countries and the World Bank through the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to invest public money in this expansion. This proposal ignores the existence of communities on these lands, as well as all the calls and struggles by communities against this kind of project. It is unacceptable that in this day and age, governments of the North should impose their plans on communities in 10 African countries without them having access, let alone the ability to opine on such plans.
The letter demands that “the non-public version of this study be published immediately by the AfDB and WWF-Kenya so that its content may be known”. It also demands that national governments of the Global South no longer follow the dictates of the World Bank and Northern governments, and reject the privatization of community lands and their transfer to private capital, as is currently happening in Mozambique. The letter demands quite the opposite, i.e., “a wide-ranging review of the process of allocation of land to plantation corporations, ensuring the return of land to the communities that depend on it”.
The letter concludes by saying that ”We reiterate our solidarity on this September 21st with the legitimate and just struggles of communities that resist the advance of plantations all over the world and strive to take back their lost lands. The struggle continues!”
Read full details of the letter here: https://witnessradio.org/download/reports/Open-Letter-on-Monoculture-plantation-WR-signs.pdf
Farmland values hit record highs, pricing out farmers
Anti-tick vaccine drive gives hope to farmers
Dairy farmers in Ankole Sub-region are optimistic that the anti-tick vaccine launched by the government will solve their problem of tick resistance to acaricides.
For the last 10 years, dairy farmers across the country have decried tick resistance to acaricides, which has been ravaging the livestock sector.
Mr Emmanuel Kyeishe, a resident of Rushere in Kiruhura District and dairy farmer with more than 100 head of cattle, says dairy farmers in the cattle corridor have battled the problem of tick resistance for a long time.
“The issue of ticks has been rampant in the cattle corridor to the extent of losing our cows. We spend a lot on treating them because of ticks since they infect animals with several diseases,” he said.
Mr Kyeishe said he loses at least two cows every month to tick-borne diseases like East Coast Fever and heart water.
“I have lost 180 cows in the last five years due to ticks and tick-borne diseases. If they do not die, they get blind and some lose their skin. But if we get a vaccine, it will have saved us a lot,” he said.
Mr Kyeishe added that he has resorted to mixing agrochemicals with acaricides since the available ones on the market are failing.
Mr Jackson Bells Katongole, a dairy farmer in Kashari, Mbarara District, said if the government’s move to have anti-tick vaccine is successful, quality of dairy products would improve.
“A farmer loses at least two to five cows every month and we have resorted to using different concoctions from Tanzania, Rwanda and Kenya because the problem of ticks has made us helpless,” he said.
He added: “We had reached the point of mixing pesticides with acaricides because of tick resistance and in the process our cows have gone blind, lost skin and others died.”
Mr Katongole further said each cow that dies is valued at around Shs2.5 million, which means that a farmer loses Shs5 million every month.
The Mbarara City Veterinary Officer, Dr Andrew Akashaba, said in Mbarara alone, there are about 60,000 head of cattle, mostly exotic breeds which are prone to ticks.
“Most of the exotic breeds of cattle are at a high risk of acquiring ticks and tick borne diseases, which are a major hindrance to livestock development in the cattle corridor,” he said.
Mr Akashaba added that between 2,000 and 3,000 cows die annually in Mbarara alone due to tick-related diseases.
While launching the final clinical trial of anti-tick vaccine manufactured by National Agriculture Research Organisation at Mbarara Zardi on Thursday, the deputy director general and research coordinator, Dr Yona Baguma, assured the farmers that once the vaccine is approved, they will be spraying their cattle against ticks twice in six months as opposed to twice a week.
Original source: Monitor
Farmers fail to access farm inputs on Ministry e-platform
About 3,640 model farmers in Nebbi District, who were registered under the Agricultural Cluster Development Programme (ACDP) to access agricultural inputs on E-voucher, are stuck after failure of the system.
The farmers say the system has affected their planting patterns.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry under the Agriculture cluster Development Programme (ACDP) introduced the e-voucher system five years ago to enable farmers access agricultural inputs electronically.
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