By Patricia Aruho Bamanyaki
This Info Note discusses gender-based barriers to climate-smart agriculture adoption in Northern Uganda and the opportunities for gender-responsive climate-smart agriculture..
Climate-smart agriculture (CSA) adoption among male and female smallholder farmers in Northern Uganda is low.
Actor-related barriers to CSA adoption in Northern Uganda mainly derive from inadequate sensitization, information, knowledge and skills on CSA among farmers; and weak financial capacity and donor dependence.
Context- and system-related barriers to CSA adoption in the region are linked to low institutional budgets for CSA interventions; inadequate supportive infrastructure; a weak policy environment to assure certified inputs, deeply entrenched traditional farming systems; and a customary land tenure system, which limits investment in expensive technologies.
Boosting gender-responsive CSA adoption in the region requires an understanding of the local context; gender-equitable access to CSA information, capacity building, and input and output markets; provision of supportive infrastructure and services; enhancing farmers’ adaptive capacity; and the use of gender transformative approaches.
For a decade now, climate-smart agriculture (CSA) has been promoted as an approach that sustainably increases agricultural productivity and incomes; enhances farmers’ adaptive capacity and resilience to climaterelated shocks; and reduces greenhouse gas emissions and increases carbon sinks, where possible (FAO 2014).
By implementing CSA, developing countries are foreseen to augment the achievement of national food security, economic growth and sustainable development (Anuga et al. 2019).
Regardless of the potential benefits of CSA, existing studies reveal low rates of CSA adoption among subSaharan African countries (Kurgat et al. 2020; Makate et al. 2017; Arslan et al. 2014), with even lower rates visible among female farmers compared to male farmers (Assan et al. 2018; Jost et al. 2015; Ndiritu et al. 2014; Tsige et al. 2020). While vast literature points towards common barriers to CSA adoption among smallholder farmers (i.e. socio-economic, institutional, cultural, technological, attitudinal and information-related factors), variations exist in the patterns of influence of these factors across locations, making the barriers context- and actor-specific rather than universal (Eisenack et al. 2014; Kurgat et al. 2020).
This Info Note focuses on seven districts in the Northern Uganda region (Agago, Kitgum, Oyam, Lira, Amolatar,
Dokolo and Napak) to investigate gender-based barriers to CSA adoption and the opportunities for genderresponsive CSA adoption among smallholder farmers in the region. The study, which is based on smallholder farmer lived experiences and opinions, was undertaken during November and December 2019 by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in collaboration with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) Promotion of Climate Smart Agriculture (ProCSA) project in Uganda.
The study was part of an effort to develop and promote a basket of CSA options that are gender-responsive and suitable for the specific conditions of the respective districts in the region.