Careful Selections of Cattle Can Foster Climate Resilience
According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), The Gambia has been predisposed to severe drought since late 1960s of which the worst one lasted from 1968 – 1974.
The Gambia National Adaptation Programme of Action on Climate Change also indicated that the combined effects of relatively low temperatures in 2004 and little adaptive capacities of livestock farmers resulted in loss of sheep, goats and cattle.
Furthermore, the long drought of 2010/2011, which resulted in the death of many farm animals, and a severe food crisis are typical examples of extreme climate change related events confronting the livestock farmers in this country.
Fluctuations in temperature and annual precipitation as a result of global warming may also pose threat to survival of farm animals and their owners especially in the lowland and coastal areas of The Gambia.
Confronted with the daunting challenge of variability in climatic conditions, there is likelihood that livestock farmers, particularly the women groups will experience more difficulties over the next 20 years, if certain actions are not properly taken now. It is then vital for all stakeholders to make concerted effort with regard to meeting food security, poverty alleviation and improved adaptation strategies for all the individuals and groups who will be affected by the effects of climate change.