Climate Change and Agriculture in Africa
Agriculture is the primary medium through which climate change will impact people, ecosystems and economies. According to the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), this is no longer a potential threat but a conclusive, inevitable reality. Rainfall is generally expected to become more variable; floods are expected to become more common; droughts are expected to be more intense and last longer, while sea-levels are expected to rise. The net effect of all these impacts is reduced food. Understanding the dynamics of current variability and future climate change as they affect food supply and demand across all sectors and enhancing the capacity to respond is crucial. Smart and sustainable Agriculture has become of urgent and of crucial importance. For society to progress towards sustainable development, education must engage the youth. However, most youths in Africa see agriculture as a dirty man’s job, forgetting that Agriculture remains the major source of employment in Africa.
Farmers in Africa are getting older – much older. Retirement is increasingly a mirage for the thousands of farmers who continue working into their late 70s and even into their mid-80s. Farmers are working significantly longer hours compared to the rest of the workforce. Rates of depression and suicide among farmers and agricultural workers are more than double the average for the non-agricultural workforce.
Photo Credit: Austrialian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade