Focus on Farmers at Climate Summit

6 Sep 2023

This year’s Africa Climate Weeks kicks off coming Monday, and the major event will run alongside President William Ruto’s inaugural Africa Climate Summit coming with the aim of heightening exposure to climate change and associated costs at the local and global level. The discussions are expected to cover four thematic areas, and one of them is food security under the broad pillar of Land, Ocean, Food and water.

Food insecurity is of major concern in the wake of climate change considering that it has been soaring globally. This is especially worse in Africa, a region greatly reliant of rain fed agriculture to grow its foods.

Climate change phenomena — extreme storms, flooding, heat stress, and increased prevalence of pests and crop diseases, has affected seasons, which have for eons naturally guided African farmers on when to till the land, plant seed and harvest. Rains are shorter and unpredictable, and if the rains fall, it is destructive to the crops, making rain fed agriculture such a risky business for farmers, thereby affecting their livelihoods and endangering food availability.

Case in point was what was witnessed at the beginning of this year where smallholder farmers living in agricultural rich regions came face to face with the ravages of drought.

In the past one to two decades, it has become near impossible to predict whether the weather will deliver a good harvest. This has forced many farmers to switch to short-term crops such as capsicum, pepper, cucumber, which indeed will earn them an income, but puts to risk the availability of dense foods to society.

For this reason, the drawing of the Nairobi Declaration, the report that will capture the summit’s commitments, pledges and expected outcomes, should clearly shine the spotlight on the plight of small-scale farmers by outlining solutions specifically geared to them. Small-scale farmers are disproportionately vulnerable to the impacts of climate.

The summit will need to ramp up support to help them cope with the effects of climate change. From climate smart finance solutions to training, knowledge and availing of innovative solutions need to be clearly outlined for this group of farmers to enhance their adaptive capacity. Knowledge and innovation remains a far-fetched ideal for many of them.

Original post: Peoples Daily website

Read the original story here: