Addressing Climate Change Key to Increasing Agricultural Productivity

The 2014 African Agriculture Status Report (AASR) highlights the importance of addressing climate change to increase agricultural productivity, improve food security and enhance the resilience of farmer’s to climate change in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The 2014 AASR stated smallholder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa have faced a serious challenge due to climate change and climate smart agriculture has a crucial importance in preventing the problem.

The report indicated that 25 to 80 percent of the total land used to cultivate beans in East and Central Africa; and 25 percent of the land covered by banana in the Shale region will become infertile in the near future due to the climate change.

The report also said countries of the South and West Africa as well as South Sudan are in the ‘greatest risk’ of failed seasons because of rains become more sporadic.

To avert the risk, the report suggested small-holder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa to adopt climate-smart agriculture, forestry and fisheries (CSA).

CSA is aimed to sustainably increase agricultural productivity and income by helping the farmers to adopt climate change and increase resilience in their rural communities.

It is designed to identify and operationalize sustainable agricultural development within the explicit parameters of climate change.

The CSA is an approach to developing the technical, policy and investment conditions to achieve sustainable agricultural development for food security under climate change.

The report recommended for improving Africa’s soil and water management, and adopting new crop varieties and smart mechanizations to increase productivity of farmlands and revenues at the middle of erratic rainfall.

Currently only two percent of African farmers have access to irrigation and a lot of work is needed to extract Africa’s huge water resources.

Africa also needs to establish its own version of Green Economy to benefit its largest smallholder farmers, the report said.

The report stressed the need to provide financial and technical support to farmers to increase their ability to conserve their farmland in addition to efforts to protect and expand Africa’s forest resources and reduce emissions.

The first AASR was released in 2013 and brought together extensive information and data to assist policy makers to develop suitable policies to foster agriculture in Africa.

The 2014 AASR is authored by experts and professionals drawn from AGRA, World Bank, FAO, World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) Private Sector, the development community and Universities from across Africa and beyond.

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