Thursday, 16 June 2016

Africa needs climate-proof agriculture (report)


Montpelier Panel, June 2016

Title page of report with images of African farmers and landscape
By the year 2050 the impacts of climate change and extreme weather events, such as the current El NiƱo, could increase hunger and child malnutrition by as much as 20%, reversing the gains achieved through the Millennium Development Goal process and jeopardising the success of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Agriculture is the backbone of African economies, accounting for as much as 40% of total export earnings and employing 60 – 90% of Africa’s labour force. More than half of households’ income originates in the agriculture sector. Agriculture will continue to be a priority for Africa, alongside efforts towards industrialisation. Using the targets set out in the Malabo Declaration African governments now need to unlock the continent’s agriculture sector in a way that captures the synergies between climate adaptation and mitigation and identifies and reduces the inevitable trade-offs. A sustainable agriculture sector has the potential to contribute to food and nutrition security, poverty reduction and sustained economic growth, in a way that preserves the natural resource base on which it depends.

Climate-smart agriculture needs to:

  •  Provide adaptation and resilience to shocks
  •  Generate adaptation and mitigation as co-benefits
  •  Take a location-specific and knowledge-intensive approach
  •  Provide integrated options that create synergies and reduce trade-offs.

Recommendation #6 Better training for farmers on sustainable farming techniques, through improved extension services, farmer field schools and utilisation of digital technologies.

...could this mean more permaculture training?!

News coverage of this report here.

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