Monday, May 4, 2015

Climate -Smart Agriculture Combating Climate Change

Aaron Yancho Kaah

Climate  change and its impact on Agriculture  has undeniaby been one of the crucial issues  of our time.. In the past years African farmers and herders  followed  favorable climatic conditions and some local indigenous ideas  to hoe  their food crops and to raise their livestock in Africa. The constant climatic changes have put this livestock  and agricultural production into a mess. Farmers across the world like in Africa are finding new ways to adapt in these changing weather conditions and patterns.

 The use of indigenous knowledge and adaptation tools properly tailored to this local environment is gaining  new grounds under the banner  of  Climate- Smart Agriculture in Africa today. 

Nonetheless this is not a new science. Though this science is fast taking a political and economic tone across the world, Its adoption and rejection is gaining momentum  as the continent find ways to bail itself  from the fangs of poverty and misery. A call for a Global Alliance  for Climate -Smart Agriculture started  during the US-African leaders summit  in August of 2014 when the US secretary of state John Kerry urged and encouraged African leaders  to join this movement. John Kerry said 70% of Africans made a living out of Agriculture and that a Climate -Smart was effective in  ameliorating poverty across the continent.  "Due to hotter  temperature , longer droughts  and unpredictable rainfall, there was a need for Climate -Smart Agriculture and  creative solutions  that inceased food crop  production" Kerry remarked. Five African countries including, Liberia, Malawi, Niger, Nigeria and Tanzania during this summit decleared their intentions  to join this Global Alliance for a Climate -Smart Agriculture.

 Climate -Smart Agriculture is observed  as a solution  to redynamizing  and transforming agricultural production  by revolutionalizing  practices and tools  that appropriately address the threats of climate change  and the adaption of agriculture to the changing weather conditions.

The first approach in this technology is to enhance healthy soils by using natural sources like plant nutrition  and by reducing the use of chemical and inorganic fertilizers.Thinking in line with Climate-Smart Agriculture, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reported in 2011, that the combination of mineral fertilizer application and a dual purpose grain legume like soyabeans intercropped with maize crops increased food crop yields in East Africa by 140 to 300% and left a positive N -balance  in the food production cropping system.

The common sense integrated livestock management system in the Sahel is also praised by this FAO report. In this report farming with trees has numerous benefits to the land and soils. these environmental loving trees  do not fight  with the food crops over light or water. Their rich nutrigen  rich leaves are shaded on the land to provide a  rich foor crop fertilizer. These trees also provide friuts and  fodder to man and animals. In the grassfield of cameroon farmers grows  food crops with calliandra trees or prunus Africana trees. This technology has helped over the years to increased food crop production and bee keeping along the slopes of the kilum mountain forest. This bee keeping projects have intended ameliorated incomes and food security for these small farm families.

However the Climate -Smart Agriculture has also drawn a wide range of criticims around the world. Paul Driessen, the author of the Eco -imperialism, Green Power-black Death and senior policy advisor for the commitee for a Constructive Tomorrow wrote an article entitled, Climate -Smart policies  for Africa are stupid. The Third world network recently plunged in to the debate by questioning the authenticity of the climate -smart agriculture. In their words it is climate Dumb Agriculture. These waves of criticisms have not deterred  the support of small holder African farmers. "Initiatives aimed at promoting indigenous tools and knowledge are fundamental in agricultural performance" Remarked Dr Bassam Emmanuel Deputy country director of Heifer cameroon. "This performance could reduce poverty, secure food crop production, employment and economic prosperity on the continent" he concluded

No comments:

Post a Comment