[Thought Piece] Facing the Future with Hope: Adopting Climate Smart Agriculture in Kigezi Highlands and Beyond

The Faculty of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences is one of the nine faculties at Kabale University. Kabale University started as a community University in 2001 but was later taken up by the Government of Uganda in 2015. The Faculty of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences started in 2019 with only 63 students and two undergraduate programs, but today, the Faculty has six academic programs with 243 students. The courses offered include; MSc in Environment and Natural Resources, Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science, Bachelor of Agriculture and Land Use Management, Bachelor of Science in Agriculture, Bachelor of Agribusiness Management and Diploma in Environmental Science. In addition, four postgraduate programs have been approved by Kabale University for submission to the Uganda National Council of Higher Education (NCHE) for accreditation. These include; PhD in Environmental Sciences, PhD in Agricultural Sciences, MSc in Geospatial Sciences, and MSc in Agricultural Sciences. Working with the Centre for Rural Development, Kabale University has an active outreach program on agriculture and sustainable water and soil conservation in the Kigezi sub region.

Kabale University is located in South Western Uganda, surrounded by Rwanda in the South and DR Congo to the West. This region is endowed with some of the highly endangered rare species of both flora and fauna in the world. This is where East Africa meets the West in terms of ecological climate. However, the region is plagued with challenges that outpace the solutions currently provided. These include; intensely and continuously cultivated steep landscapes with little external inputs, high population densities, wetland degradation, decreasing household incomes, decreasing vegetation cover and persistent regional conflicts. There are significant signs of climate change related challenges that are ravaging the region.

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