Sep 13, 2011
Infrastructure needed to help farmers cope with climate changeBack
Agriculture|DURBAN|Johannesburg|SECURITY|Africa|Gas|Roads|Security|Systems|Water|Africa|South Africa|Security|Food Crop|Food Production|Food Security|Gross Domestic Product|Physical Infrastructure|Rural Infrastructure|Security|Systems|Infrastructure|Maite Nkoana-Mashabane|Security|Tina Joemat-Pettersson|Water|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
Other Video News
Updated 5 hours ago The head of economics and trade at the Delegation of the European Union (EU) in Pretoria has acknowledged South Africa’s trade negotiators won important concessions in the long-running Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) trade talks. But he says it was South...
Recent Research Reports
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Road and Rail 2014 (PDF Report)
This six-page brief covers key developments in the road and rail industries over the past 12 months, including details of South Africa’s road and rail network and prospects for both sectors.
Real Economy Insight: Steel 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the steel industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the global and South African steel and stainless steel markets, South Africa’s major steel producers and events that have shaped these markets.
This Week's Magazine
Multinational semiconductor chipmaker corporation Intel announced its national campaign to further acquire partners to drive its She Will Connect programme, an initiative that aims to expand digital literacy skills to young women in developing countries, further into...
South Africa's MeerKAT radio telescope array programme should get back on schedule within a few months. This assurance has been given by SKA South Africa (SKA SA) associate director: science and technology Prof Justin Jonas. Early last month, Science and Technology...
The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa’s (PRASA’s) Metrorail service will remain a subsidised service following its current multibillion-rand rolling stock, station, depot and signalling upgrade programme. PRASA group CEO Lucky Montana has allayed fears that...
The uncertainties around the remediation of affected areas as addressed in the Contaminated Land Provisions in the National Environmental Management: Waste Act No 59 of 2008 will possibly spark litigation and disputes between landowners and businesses, contractors...
South Africa is currently the largest component of the African Development Bank’s (AfDB’s) active portfolio in Southern Africa, comprising 62.5% of the bank’s $7.9-billion exposure to the 12-country region – the second largest beneficiary is Mauritius, which...