ESAFF trains journalists to create awareness about value of agroecology

MASAKA – At least 15 Ugandan journalists have trained in agroecology practices in an effort to make communities appreciate the importance of food safety and environmental protection.

The 3-month training organised by the Eastern and Southern Small-scale Farmers Forum [ESAFF] attracted journalists from all regions of Uganda.

The training follows research studies that proved rampant cases of food-borne diseases caused by the contamination of foodstuffs and the destruction of the environment by chemicals.

Agroecology is the application of sustainable agricultural practices that are environmentally friendly, and journalists were equipped with skills that they can use to entice farmers to embrace this type of farming.

According to ESAFF, many farmers in Uganda are into chemical monoculture which destroys biodiversity and impacts people’s health, and they would want to work with journalists to reverse this trend.

Margaret Masudio, the publicity secretary ESAFF Uganda explained that agroecology is the most sustainable approach to food production where there is less use of harmful inputs.

She added: “Through improving the relationship between plants, animals, soil, people, and the environment, this [agroecology] will restore the ecosystem’s functionality, ensuring food and nutrition security.”

The journalists underwent training in urban farming, the use of organic manure as fertilisers and agro-forestry practices, and post-harvest handling among others.

Alexander Ampeire, an agroecology trainer at St. Jude Agroecology Farm in Masaka district told journalists to promote integrated agriculture through information dissemination.

Masaka district agricultural officer, Dennis Ssebinojjo said they have partnered with some environment journalists to help the agricultural extensionist to disseminate messages on organic farming which emphasises the production of healthier food, and the conservation of the environment.

The Director of St. Jude Agroecology Farm, Josephine Kizza said they have demonstration plots where people are trained to produce organic food through the use of farmyard manure.

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