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January 2021

AgrAbility for Africa

Picture showing a group of African men and women with most of them standing but a few squatting and one in a wheelchair standing on a cement courtyard with a cement block wall behind them.On November 25,the AgrAbility for Africa staff attended the presentation of the "Social Protection Sector Review" document by the Ministry of Labor, Gender and Social Development of the government of Uganda for the purpose of analyzing the critical component of the government 's national development strategy for supporting human capital development and inclusive growth. The AgrAbility for Africa team's focus was to assess the nature of support extended to persons with disabilities in the farming industry under the social protection services extension. This was done to increase their understanding of the systems and tools available to support services for farmers, ranchers, and their children when faced with disabilities.

Following the evaluation of the social sector services report, staff began engaging with different sectors, including academia and government, to push and build a narrative infrastructure that advocates for issues necessary for farmers with disabilities to achieve equitable access to assistive technologies and other support services, enabling them to remain productive much longer while living independently.

Issues under discussion are farmers' challenges of accessibility to diagnostics services brought about by the nonexistence of accessible transportation, exacerbated rural isolation of many farmers, the cost of assistive technologies, access to farming extension services and rehabilitation experts, the need for development of a low-cost assistive technology lab, and a campaign to transform Ugandan national care to ensure capacities and tools are in place that both reflect and reinforce support for the underserved people.

Picture of Jessica - a Ugandan woman - working in a hoop house.On December 3, AgrAbility for Africa staff joined the rest of the world to celebrate diversity amongst us in a show of support toward a society that embraces diversity. Staff continue to challenge everyone to build networks and infrastructure to support people faced with disabilities. Only through collective ability and understanding will societies change to positively engage, with love and empathy, those who are different.

Submitted by Mutumba Faisal