Bila Kuwekeza Katika Kilimo, Waafrika Wataendelea Kuwa na Njaa

Bila kuwekeza katika kilimo,Waafrika wataendelea kuwa na njaa.

Upatikanaji haba wa maji, mafuriko ya mara kwa mara na ukame ikiwa ni pamoja na kukosekana kwa dhamira za kisiasa kuwekeza katika wakulima wadogo kunasababisha njaa katika Afrika nzima, wanasema wataalam wa usalama wa chakula.

JOHANNESBURG, Okt 24 (IPS) – Wanajibu hoja za Ripoti ya Njaa ya Kimataifa 2010 (GHI), iliyochapishwa katikati mwa Oktoba, jambo ambalo litaonyesha kuwa nchi 29 duniani zina kiwango cha njaa ambacho kinaonekana kutishia maisha. Ishirini na mbili kati ya nchi hizi – zaidi ya theluthi mbili – zinapatikana katika Afrika Kusini mwa Jangwa la Sahara.

GHI – ambayo inaangalia vigezo 100-ilipima njaa kwa kujikita katika idadi ya watu wanaokosa mlo, idadi ya watoto chini ya miaka mitano ambao wana uzito duni na kiwango cha vifo vya watoto wachanga nchini humo – inachapishwa kila mwaka na Taasisi ya Kimataifa ya Utafiti wa Sera za Chakula (IFPRI) na shirika la misaada la Ireland la Concern Worldwide.

Afrika imepata mafanikio kidogo katika kipindi cha miaka 20 iliyopita, kutoka nafasi ya 25.3 mwaka 1990 hadi 21.7 mwaka 2010, lakini kwa kiwango hiki hakuna uwezekano wa Afrika kufikia Lengo la Maendeleo ya Milenia la kupunguza nusu ya njaa ifikapo mwaka 2015.

“Kunakosekana mafanikio,” anaonya Marie Ruel, mkurugenzi wa umaskini wa IFPRI, afya na kitengo cha lishe, akibainisha kuwa ni jambo linaloleta wasiwasi kwamba baadhi ya mataifa ya Afrika, asilimia ya watu wenye njaa imeongezeka katika kipindi cha miaka iliyopita.

Bado njaa inaendelea

Kulingana na ripoti, Jamhuri ya Kidemorkasia ya Kongo ina kiwango cha juu zaidi cha watu wanaokabiliwa na njaa duniani, ikifuatiwa na Chad, Eritrea na Burundi. DRC pia ina kiwango cha juu zaidi cha watu wenye njaa – robo tatu ya wakazi wake – na moja ya nchi yenye kiwango cha juu zaidi cha vifo vya watoto duniani.

Burundi, Comoros na Eritrea hazina nafasi nzuri zaidi, huku nusu ya wakazi wake wakiwa na njaa.

Moja ya sababu kuu za njaa katika mataifa haya ni kuendelea kukosekana kwa usalama kutokana na vita, ripoti inabainisha, lakini pia kuna sababu nyingine nyingi ambazo zinachangia kukosekana kwa usalama wa chakula, kama vile upatikanaji wa maji, kukosekana kwa vitega uchumi katika kilimo na madhara ya mabadiliko ya tabia nchi.

Kwa upande wa Burundi, kwa mfano, sababu kuu ya kukosekana kwa usalama wa chakula ni usimamiaji duni wa maji, ambao unadhoofisha sekta ya kilimo nchini humo, Profesa Sheryl Hendriks, mtafiti katika Idara ya Uchumi wa Kilimo, Ugani na Maendeleo ya Vijijini katika Chuo Kikuu cha Pretoria nchini Afrika Kusini ana amini hivyo.

“Kukosekana kwa usimamiaji wa maji kuna maana kuwa nchi haina maji ya kutosha, kama ilivyo kwa Burundi, hakuna uzalishaji wa kutosha wa chakula,” anasema.

Kutokana na njaa, zaidi ya nusu ya watoto wa Burundi wamedumaa, kulingana na GHI. Madagascar, Malawi, Ethiopia na Rwanda ina viwango vinavyofanana vya kudumaa kwa watoto, wakati Chad, Angola na Somalia zinakabiliwa na viwango vya juu vya vifo vya watoto wachanga vya zaidi ya asilimia 20 kutokana na njaa.

Viwango vya chini vya uzalishaji

Kama ilivyo kwa Burundi, uzalishaji duni wa kilimo ni sababu ya kuenea kwa kiasi kikubwa cha njaa nchini Eritrea, ambako ukame na mabomu ya ardhini katika maeneo yanayofaa kwa kilimo baada ya miaka miwili ya vita na Ethiopia, ambayo ilimazilika mwaka 2000, kumesababisha kukosekana kwa usalama wa chakula, kulingana na Shirika la Chakula la Umoja wa Mataifa (WFP).

Katika miaka yake iliyokuwa na uzalishaji mkubwa, Eritrea ilizalisha asilimia 60 tu ya mahitaji yake ya nafaka na inategemea kuagiza chakula nje, linaripoti Shirika la Chakula na Kilimo la Umoja wa Mataifa (FAO). Katika miaka ya uzalishaji mkubwa, uzalishaji wa nafaka ulishuka kwa asilimia 25 ya mahitaji.

Vile vile, nchini Chad, kilimo, ambacho tayari ni duni kutokana na hali ya hewa kame, kimedhoofishwa na vita vya mfululizo, huku asilimia 80 ya wakazi wakitegemea msaada wa chakula, kulingana na WFP.

Vita pia vimezingira mipaka ya DRC tangu mwaka 1996, na kusababisha kupanda kwa bei kwa asilimai 52 kati ya Mei 2008 na Juni 2009, kulingana na WFP, ikiwa ni zaidi ya uwezo wa Wakongo wengi. Misaada ya kibinadamu inaendelea kubakia michache katika maeneo mengi yenye vita ya nchi hiyo, hasa katika Jimbo la Kivu Kaskazini.

Ni serikali chache tu za nchi za Kiafrika zimeweza kuboresha usalama wa chakula nchini mwao, zaidi kwa kupitia uwekezaji katika kilimo. Ghana, kwa mfano, iliweza kuboresha nafasi yake katika ripoti kutoka 23.4 mwaka 1990 hadi 10 mwaka huu, kulingana na GHI.

Hendriks ana imani kuwa Ghana ni taifa la kwanza barani Afrika kuwa njiani kufikia MDG 1.

“[Ghana] inawekeza katika kilimo, mpango wa kutoa chakula mashuleni na mifumo ya habari na kujenga uwezo,” anasema, akiongeza kuwa serikali ya Ghana pia imefanikiwa kutoa ruzuku kwa wakulima wadogo.

Ethiopia, Angola na Msumbiji pia zimepata mafanikio katika kupunguza njaa, pamoja na kwamba katika mataifa yote matatu ‘usalama wa chakula unaendelea “kuwa tishio” huku yakipewa alama 29.8, 27.2 na 23.7, kulingana na ripoti.

Hakuna ufumbuzi wa haraka

Wataalam wa usalama wa chakula wanapendekeza kuwa mataifa mengine ya Afrika yafuate nyayo za Ghana katika kuwekeza kwenye kilimo, na kuonya kuwa hakuna hatua ya haraka ya kuondokana na kukosekana kwa usalama wa chakula katika bara.

Pamoja na kwamba misaada ya muda mfupi inapambana na njaa, kwa mfano msaada wa chakula, ni muhimu kuondokana na uhaba usioonekana, serikali za Afrika zinatakiwa kulenga katika mikakati ya muda mrefu ya kukuza uzalishaji wa kilimo, anasema Dk Joyce Chitja, kaimu mkurugenzi wa Kituo cha Usalama wa Chakula Afrika katika Chuo Kikuu cha KwaZulu-Natal nchini Afrika Kusini.

“Ni muhimu kuhakikisha kuwa mipango ya kuondokana na njaa na misaada ya chakula inaondolewa polepole kwa kufanya uzalishaji wa kilimo kuwa wa kawaida,” anaelezea, akibainisha kuwa serikali zinahitaji “kufufua na kuanzisha tena uzalishaji wa kilimo”.

Hendriks anakubaliana kuwa kukosekana kwa usalama wa chakula katika bara kunaweza kutatuliwa tu kama nchi za Afrika zitazalisha chakula cha kutosha kulisha wakazi wake: “Ufumbuzi wa kukosekana kwa usalama wa chakula barani Afrika utategemeana na uzalishaji wa kilimo cha mazao, mifugo na uvuvi, ikiwa ni pamoja na upatikanaji wa masoko na miundombinu.” (END/2010)

Chanzo; Chris Stain

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Farmers’ battle to cope with climate change could spark rural renewal

Shifting world agriculture to a “climate-smart” approach will not only help prevent future food security crises but holds the promise of sparking economic and agricultural renewal in rural areas where hunger and poverty are most prevalent, argues a new FAO publication.

On the one hand, the magnitude and scope of climate change’s impacts on agricultural systems means that boosting rural communities’ resilience and adaptive capacities is essential to safeguarding world food security.

Rising temperatures and an increased frequency of extreme weather events will have direct and negative impacts on crops, livestock, forestry, fisheries and aquaculture productivity in the years to come, as clearly indicated in the most recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Vulnerable, farming-dependent populations in the developing world are particularly at risk.

But at the same time, the compelling need to deal with the challenges posed by climate change offers an opportunity to transform the way food systems use natural resources, improve agriculture’s sustainability and promote poverty reduction and economic growth, the publication adds.

Highlighting cases studies in “climate-smart agriculture” from around the globe, FAO’s document shows that many rural communities are already successfully making the transition to new forms of farming better suited to the rigors of a warmer world.

“A shift to climate-smart agriculture will not only help shield farmers from the adverse effects of climate change and offer a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but can also improve farm yields and household incomes, leading to stronger, more resilient communities,” said FAO Deputy Director-General Helena Semedo.

“We can no longer afford to separate the future of food security from that of natural resources, the environment and climate change – they are inextricably intertwined and our response must be as well,” she added.

Climate-smart agriculture

The model of climate-smart agriculture that FAO is promoting seeks to address three broad objectives:
• Sustainably increase agricultural productivity and incomes
• Help rural communities and farmers adapt to and become more resilient to the effects of climate change
• To reduce or remove agriculture’s greenhouse gases emissions, when possible.
Exactly how farmers go about tackling these goals can change from place to place, depending on local circumstances.

Source: FAO

Climate change adaptation can help to promote Sub-Saharan African Livelihoods.

Investing in ways to adapt to climate change will promote the livelihood of 65 per cent of Africans, the United Nations environmental agency reported, warning also that failing to address the phenomenon could reverse decades of development progress on the continent.

Africa’s population is set to double to 2 billion by 2050, the majority of whom will continue to depend on agriculture to make a living, according to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

“With 94 per cent of agriculture dependent on rainfall, the future impacts of climate change – including increased droughts, flooding, and seal-level rise – may reduce crop yields in some parts of Africa by 15 – 20 per cent,” UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said.

“Such a scenario, if unaddressed, could have grave implications for Africa’s most vulnerable states,” he added.

In a new graphical report, Keeping Track of Adaptation Actions in Africa (KTAA) – Targeted Fiscal Stimulus Actions Making a Difference, UNEP details the implications of climate change, and provides examples of adaptation projects that range from forest ecosystem management to aquatics and agriculture.

The report describes sustainable examples of how countries in sub-Saharan Africa enhanced environmental and ecosystem resilience through the use of native plants and natural infrastructure, land plans and rainwater harvesting, among other examples.

The projects are integrated into national development policies which can strengthen and enhance the resilience communities against the impacts of climate change, while also contributing to the realization of the anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), according to the report authors.

“By integrating climate change adaptation strategies in national development policies Governments can provide transitional pathways to green growth and protect and improve the livelihoods of hundreds of millions of Africans,” Mr. Steiner noted.
The projects also highlight the urgency to act now in adapting to challenges, especially in developing countries where capabilities to respond to the magnitude of the problem are limited.

This year’s Africa Environment Day, marked annually on 3 March, focused on combating desertification on the continent and enhancing its agriculture and food security. The continent has lost 65 per cent of its agricultural land since 1950 due to land degradation, according to figures cited by UNEP. Up to 12 per cent of its agricultural gross domestic product (GDP) is lost due to deteriorating conditions and 135 million people are at risk of having to move from their land by 2020 due to desertification.

Source; UN Report, August 2014.

Radio show helps Tanzanian farmers fight climate change

Radio show helps Tanzanian farmers fight climate change

KILIMANJARO, Tanzania (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – As thousands of farmers in northeastern Tanzania grapple with long spells of dry weather and erratic rainfall, a Canadian charity has collaborated with local partners on a radio programme to help onion and rice growers adapt to the effects of climate change.

Farm Radio International and private radio station MoshiFM started the show, tailored to help farmers in remote Ruvu village and the surrounding areas of Same district find ways to maintain their harvests and seek better markets for their produce.

Launched last year, Heka-Heka Vijijini (which means “upbeat mood in the village” in Kiswahili) airs twice a week for one hour, teaching farmers to embrace crop diversification and irrigation to boost soil fertility.

With the help of local agricultural extension officers, the programme advises its audience on suitable planting times, as well as giving them up-to-date weather information and tips on how to increase their crop yields in the face of challenging weather.
Every Wednesday and Saturday, Gloria Meena sits down to listen in with other villagers in Ruvu.

“I have found the programmes very useful because they teach good farming methods and how farmers can deal with floods as well as adapting to the changing climate,” she said.
The 53-year-old widow said the weather in her region has been unpredictable for the past eight years. She recalls losing an entire hectare of onions three years ago after heavy rainfall pounded the village, which nestles among hills, causing floods that swept away everything she had planted and dealing a sharp blow to her income.

“Before I started tuning (in) to the programme, I did not know how to prevent soil erosion, which is a big problem here, but now I know how to protect my farm,” said Paulina Ndauka, another of Ruvu’s farmers.

PLATFORM FOR AG OFFICERS
MoshiFM programme manager Yusuph Masanja said Heka-Heka Vijijini targets more than 7,000 farmers, most of whom depend on agriculture for a living, and aims to promote effective onion and rice growing while responding to the challenges posed by climate change.

“We are happy to see that the farmers have been very responsive to this initiative,” he said.
Masanja said the radio programme has simplified the work of agricultural extension officers, who can now communicate with farmers via the airwaves, since it is not easy for them to visit people on an individual basis.

“Extension officers are few … so we give them a platform to talk to the farmers and put their messages across,” he said.
Onesmo Mbaga, an onion farmer in Ruvu, said the programme had taught him how to store water in a reservoir to use in the dry season.

“Onion seedlings don’t need a lot of water to grow,” Mbaga said. “I have set up a reservoir with the help of village leadership which supplies water to the farm.”
“The radio programme makes it easy to get the needed help from extension officers, especially on how to deal with soil exhaustion,” he added.

STEMMING PRODUCTION DECLINES
Erratic rainfall patterns, coupled with increasingly frequent droughts, pose a growing threat to the livelihood and security of thousands of people in Tanzania’s rural communities.

Scientists suggest that simple adaptation techniques such as changing planting dates and crop varieties could greatly help smallholder farmers reduce climate-related risks.
Ruvu ward official Dawson Maine said the radio programme has helped farmers increase production, which had been dwindling in recent years.

“We are now monitoring closely about 400 hectares (990 acres) of onions which have been placed under irrigation schemes, and (we) render necessary assistance to the farmers,” Maine said. “The farmers are responding very well to many problems that affect their lives.”

Ruvu ward has a population of 12,820. Until the onset of more extreme weather, it used to be the main supplier of onions and rice in northern Tanzania, attracting traders from Moshi, Arusha and Nairobi.

“Peasant farmers need to adapt to weather-related challenges which have had an impact on their incomes due to reduced crop yields,” said Henry Laswai, an agricultural researcher at Sokoine University of Agriculture in Morogoro. “As a result (of these challenges) they are being pushed into extreme poverty.”

An onion trader in Same district said that, despite the weather challenges, onion growing is still a booming business. A single hectare of onions can generate about 600 kg of produce, worth 600,000-1.2 million Tanzanian shillings (about $370-740).

Canada-based Farm Radio International helps more than 250 radio stations in 35 African countries to reach farmers. In Tanzania, the organisation has developed programmes for radio stations in several regions, tailored to the needs of local farmers.

Kizito Makoye is a journalist based in Dar es Salaam, where he specialises in climate change reporting, as well as governance and women’s issues.

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation

The longer World waits to address climate change,the higher the cost.

The longer World waits to address climate change, the higher the cost
In September, the world’s top scientists said the human influence on climate was clear. Last month, they warned of increased risks of a rapidly warming planet to our economies, environment, food supply, and global security. Today, the latest report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) describes what we need to do about it.

The report focused on mitigation, says that global greenhouse gas emissions were rising faster in the last decade than in the previously three, despite reduction efforts. Without additional mitigation efforts, we could see a temperature rise of 3.7 to 4.8 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial times by the end of this century. The IPCC says we can still limit that increase to 2 degrees, but that will require substantial technological, economic, institutional, and behavioral change.
Let’s translate the numbers. For every degree rise, that equates to more risk, especially for the poor and most vulnerable.

Source: Rachel Kyte.

More than 80% of natural disasters are climate related.

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More than 80% of natural disasters are climate related.
Millions of people around the world already struggle to achieve food security and climate change is set to make those challenges even harder. It is perhaps humanity’s most pressing challenge, as we seek to nourish more than nine billion people by 2050.
The impacts of climate change will be numerous, affecting both food supply and demand. Droughts and water scarcity reduce overall food security and diminish dietary diversity. Infectious disease, which shares a vicious circle with malnutrition, will also increase as a result of climate change. Food systems at local levels in small farming communities will also be adversely affected, and overall, climate change could potentially slow down or reverse progress toward a world without hunger.
Poverty and climate change
There is growing recognition that the impacts of climate change and poverty are closely interconnected, as climate change impacts land availability, rainfed agriculture, and the emergence of diseases in the crop, forestry and fishery sectors. Poor people are disproportionately dependent on rainfed agriculture for their livelihoods, and they are thus especially vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.
The increasing frequency and intensity of climatic shocks will decrease poor producers’ abilities to sell an agricultural surplus, meaning less reinvestment in their farms and other livelihood activities, and less ability to buy a nourishing diet. In total, research by Ericksen et al (2011) found that around 265 million people across Latin America, Southern and West Africa, Eastern China, Southeast Asia, and the northern part of south Asia are highly vulnerable to a 5% decrease in the length of the growing season and are likely to face declines in food security due to climate change over the next 40 years.
Gender and climate change.Climate change does not affect men and women equally and might exacerbate gender inequalities with women being disproportionately affected. As women are more dependent on livelihoods and natural resources that are sensitive to climatic changes, they are also more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. In addition, women represent the majority of the world’s poor and this means they often also lack the means to cope with adverse climate change impacts.
Research highlighted by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization(FAO, 2011: 5) show that yields on women’s farms could increase by 20–30% if women had the same access to productive resources as men. This could raise total agricultural output in developing countries by 2.5–4%, which could in turn reduce the number of hungry people in the world by 12–17%.
Source: Simon Bager – CGIAR 2014

Carbondioxide emissions are being outsourced by rich countries to rising economies

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CO2 emissions are being ‘outsourced’ by rich countries to rising economies
Greenhouse gas output of China and elsewhere is increased by making goods that are then used in the US and Europe

The world’s richest countries are increasingly outsourcing their carbon pollution to China and other rising economies, according to a draft UN report.
Outsourcing of emissions comes in the form of electronic devices such as smartphones, cheap clothes and other goods manufactured in China and other rising economies but consumed in the US and Europe.
A draft of the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, obtained by the Guardian, says emissions of carbon dioxide and the other greenhouse gases warming the planet grew twice as fast in the first decade of the 21st century as they did during the previous three decades.
Much of that rise was due to the burning of coal, the report says. And much of that coal was used to power factories in China and other rising economies that produce goods for US and European consumers, the draft adds.
Since 2000, annual carbon dioxide emissions for China and the other rising economies have more than doubled to nearly 14 gigatonnes a year, according to the draft report. But about 2 GT a year of that was produced making goods for export.
The picture is similar for other rising economies producing goods for export, the report finds.
“A growing share of CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion in developing countries is released in the production of goods and services exported, notably from upper-middle-income countries to high-income countries,” the report says.
Other middle income countries, with smaller exports, saw a more gradual rise in emissions. For the poorest countries in the world, however, emissions have flatlined since 1990.
Factories in China and other rising economies now produce more carbon pollution than industries in America and Europe.
“A growing share of global emissions is released in the manufacture of products that are traded across international borders,” the draft says.
The newly wealthy elites of China, India and Brazil are flying more, buying more cars and otherwise fuelling the consumption that is drivingclimate change.
But their per capita greenhouse gas emissions are still below those in America and Europe – a gap that China and India regularly cite at climate talks to deflect pressure to cut emissions.
In addition, a large and growing share of the carbon pollution attributed to China and those rising economies was generated in the production of goods that ended up in America and Europe.
The outsourcing of those emissions has skewed efforts to account for all global emissions, which typically was conducted on a national basis. Those accounting efforts are no longer accurate, according to analysts.
“If we are just looking at our national inventory to understand the emissions trends, it is just not telling the full picture of our impacts,” said Cynthia Cummis, an expert on greenhouse gas accounting at the World Resources Institute. “We need to understand the full life cycle of all the goods and services that we are purchasing and selling.”
There is now growing debate about how to assign responsibility for emissions generated producing goods that were made in one country but ultimately destined for another.
“The consumers that are importing those goods have some responsibility for those goods that are happening outside of our boundaries,” Cummis said.
The 29-page draft, a summary for policy makers, was dated 17 December. An edited version is due to be published in Germany in April.
The report is the third in a series by the IPCC, summing up the state of the climate crisis since 2007 and prospects for solutions. The first part was released in September. It is stark about the chances of avoiding dangerous climate change – especially if deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions are pushed back beyond 2030.
Temperatures have already risen by 0.8C since the dawning of the industrial age, the report says.
Unless there are deep cuts in emissions – up to 70% of current levels by 2050 – or a near-quadrupling of renewable energy, governments may have to fall back increasingly on experimental technologies for sucking carbon dioxide from the air to avoid dangerous warming, the report says.

SOURCE: UN report.