Sep 13, 2011
Infrastructure needed to help farmers cope with climate changeBack
DURBAN|Johannesburg|Africa|South Africa|Food Crop|Food Production|Food Security|Gross Domestic Product|Physical Infrastructure|Rural Infrastructure|Maite Nkoana-Mashabane|Tina Joemat-Pettersson|Sub-Saharan Africa
© Reuse this
Physical infrastructure referred to included roads, market buildings and storage facilities, and institutional reference comprised extension programmes, credit and input markets and reduced barriers to internal trade.
Speaking at the African Ministerial Conference on Climate-Smart Agriculture, in Johannesburg, she said research remained key in identifying early actions and best practices to build capacity and increase resilience and carbon sequestration, while enhancing food security.
“Current and ongoing awareness programmes should assist the farming communities to put in place the best farming practices, which will promote sustainable agriculture and thereby contribute towards the green economy,” she said.
Nkoana-Mashabane called for governments and nations to assess the range of risks and plan to reduce vulnerability accordingly, adding that climate change “would have dramatic consequences for agriculture”.
Agriculture contributes to 30% of gross domestic product in sub-Saharan Africa, and may employ 70% of the labour force, she explained.
According to South Africa’s Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, and the African Union, feeding Africa and the globe at a time of climate change is a major challenge.
Global food production must rise by 70% by 2050 to feed over nine-billion people worldwide, but without strong adaptation measures, climate change will reduce food crop by 16% worldwide and by 28% in Africa over the next 50 years.
“Eighty percent of the sub-Saharan population lives in rural areas. African countries, despite contributing only about 3.8% to greenhouse-gas emissions, are most vulnerable to the effects of global warming, climate variability and climate change.”
She said that as the country prepared for the seventeenth Conference of Parties (COP 17) under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, to be held in Durban later this year, it was critical to start looking beyond the event.
Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson concurred: “We are hoping that the sharing of experiences on this continent, will lead to a shared future of actions and not just plans of action. We are looking beyond COP 17 for the development of this sector, including research and development and funding.”
“We need to link climate change, food security and poverty. We need to engage on emerging issues including finance and technological support and approaches such as climate-smart agriculture, which are geared to address food security, adaptation and mitigation,” Nkoana-Mashabane said.
Climate-smart agriculture seeks to increase productivity in an environmentally and socially sustainable way, strengthen a farmer’s resilience to climate change and reduce agriculture’s contribution to climate change by reducing greenhouse-gas emissions and increasing carbon storage on farmland.
This type of agriculture employs techniques such as mulching, crop rotation, integrated crop-livestock management, agroforestry, improved grazing and water management, as well as innovative practices such as weather forecasting, early warning systems and risk insurance.
Edited by: Mariaan Webb© Reuse this Comment Guidelines
Recent Research Reports
Defence 2013: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2013 Defence Report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key players in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the defence sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial...
Road and Rail 2013: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2013 Report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move...
Liquid Fuels 2013 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2013 Liquid Fuels report examines South Africa’s liquid fuels market, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing,...
Projects in Progress - Second Edition (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s second Projects in Progress supplement considers some of the major project developments under way, including high-profile energy and transport projects, as well as a few of the lower-profile public and private developments. What remains apparent is...
Water 2013: A review of South Africa’s water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2013 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
Canadian Mining Roundup for June 2013 (PDF Report)
The June 2013 roundup includes details of the development of TSX-V-listed Aldridge Minerals’ flagship Yenipazar polymetallic project, in Turkey; the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission’s renewal of Cameco’s uranium mining licence pertaining to the Cigar Lake...
This Week's Magazine
Mitsubishi Motors South Africa (MMSA) has introduced a 4x2 derivative of its Pajero Sport sports-utility vehicle (SUV), which will give it access to a substantial slice of the full-size SUV market, where it will compete with the likes of the Ford Everest, Chevrolet...
South African Energy Minister Ben Martins has affirmed that the government wants the country to be globally competitive in the nuclear sector. "Our responsibility has always been ... to ensure that, in nuclear energy, South Africa can compete with the rest of the...
Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) president and CEO Dr Martin Zimmermann describes the new S-Class as “a special place to be”, with the car creating a sense of “wellness” once you are seated inside the German brand’s flagship model. It is difficult to argue...
Water scarcity and water-quality issues are broadly recognised and understood in most political, business and civil organisations in South Africa, but solving water issues will require wide and continuous action in catchments and municipalities by organisations and...
Work is well under way on the R212-million Imvutshane dam, 30 km north-west of Stanger, in KwaZulu-Natal, which is a key link in supplying people in rural Maphumulo with a reliable source of safe drinking water.