Sub-Saharian Africa and sustainable agriculture
The smallholder farming was one of the highlights during the first day of the Global Landscapes Forum (Dec 6th) in Lima (Peru).
By Paula Nishizima
Participants of the Africa Climate Smart Agriculture Alliance presented simple and low-cost solutions used in African countries to improve food security and capacity to climate change adaptation. According to the Alliance, smallholder farmers represent about 80% of all Sub-Saharian agriculture and are the ones most vulnerable to climate change effects on crops.
In order to overcome this issue, the network developed a few mechanisms such as the Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR), that consists basically on systematic regrowth of felled trees and shrubs. These shrubs are integrated to crops and help keeping the soil’s nutrients, avoiding erosion and even restoring water table.
Besides, it also removes CO2 from the atmosphere. To the Director of Natural Environment and Climate Issues Christopher Shore, economic development is not that far from environmental preservation when using this method.
“The most important things for Africa to be doing to improve the capacity of food production and to be able to adapt to climate change are exactly the same things that will mitigate these climate changes”, claims.
Christopher also believes that techniques such as FMNR may benefit rural youth: “As we make agriculture a more productive and more profitable activity, more young people will realize that there is hope for them in it. Many leave agriculture because they do not see future nor life quality in it”.
The Alliance comprehends different organizations that aim social and economic development in African continent and has also act in countries like Zambia, Niger and Ethiopia.