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

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.

The right policies for African Agriculture

Lets share this information.

The right policies for African Agriculture.

The majority of farmers in Africa are smallholders, farming less than 2 hectares. While Dobie recognizes such farming systems can be extremely productive (and that presently a large proportion of Africa’s food comes from smallholders) the fact remains that 23 per cent of Africans are undernourished and much of this is due to poor agricultural output. What are needed are broad-based policies that tackle poverty among smallholders now, and prepare the way for a transformation of African agriculture for the future, says Dobie.

Climate change is predicted to have a drastic impact on food production, especially in Africa, making it even more difficult for smallholder farmers to sustain their livelihoods through agriculture. Increasing the efficiency of large-scale land use should provide the investment which is needed to adapt to climate change, argues Dobie.

What is needed in Africa are a range of improvements to many aspects of crop production at once. For example: technologies that improve soil fertility such as fertilizer trees; secure rights to use land so that farmers are motivated to make long-term investments in land management or cash-in and find other ways of earning a living; and better access by farmers to credit and insurance that will encourage investment and reduce risks.

The way agriculture fits within the entire ecological system must also be considered. Farming co-exists alongside a range of different land uses – trees that control the supply of water, grasslands upon which livestock depend, insects that pollinate crops – that all affect production. Policy makers need to take account of this mosaic and the multiple benefits of landscapes.

“Policy makers in Africa have an important role in enabling a transformation of agriculture,” says Dobie. “They need to develop policies that increase production, incomes and food security for smallholders while encouraging farming to evolve from its smallholder base into larger farms.” This, he says, can be achieved through diversification of agriculture on the continent, planting more high-value crops, value adding through local processing and the adoption of new technologies.

Getting policymakers to understand the need for improving entire crop production and marketing systems is a major challenge. Dobie advocates for taking agricultural development out of its exclusive agricultural silo and bringing in policy makers and practitioners from other sectors such as finance, water resources, transport, infrastructure and banking.

“There is no single policy for agriculture in Africa,” concludes Dobie. “It will take a range of mutually reinforcing policies across a number of sectors to lead us towards agriculture that is truly climate-smart.

Source: Kate Langford.

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

Sustainable Development and Climate Change Mitigation

Sustainable development is built on the triple bottom line: economic growth, environmental stewardship, and social development – or prosperity, planet, people. Without careful attention to all three, we cannot create a sustainable world.

In the 25 years since sustainable development was coined as a term, there has been progress, but the pathway to sustainable development must now be more inclusive green growth.

 

Progress has often come at the expense of our natural wealth. We have destroyed and depleted our natural assets to the point where we run the risk of undermining the precious gains.

 

At the same time, while globally the planet is flatter and more equitable, within countries the gap between rich and poor has grown unsustainably.

 

Think about this: 1.3 billion people still don’t have access to electricity, a billion go hungryevery day, some 900 million still don’t have access to safe, clean drinking water, and more than 2.5 billion lack access to sanitation. Meeting these needs during a period of unprecedented urbanization and with climate change making the future ever more complex, demands growth that protects the natural resources upon which the poor especially depend. We cannot balance our economies or the health of the planet on the backs of the poor.

 

The answer is growth that is efficient in its use of resources. It avoids locking in irreversible environmental damage and which public policy steers to ensure inclusivity. Embracing this kind of inclusive green growth doesn’t mean no growth or even slow growth, and certainly not a reversal of growth. It means a step change in the way we manage economies.

 

For example, when countries value their natural wealth and ecosystems alongside GDP, they can see the true value of natural capital that we have taken for granted for too long. To make different investment decisions, we need different data and evidence.

 

Green growth, like all good growth policies, requires getting prices right. It requires addressing policy and market failures, creating tradable property rights, and removing inappropriate subsidies. It means increasing efficiency and recognizing inefficiency in the current growth patterns we are experiencing. It means finding creative strategies that work for each country and helping policy makers answer the Monday morning question: What do I do differently?

 

Thinking holistically about growth can get us back on the path to sustainable development.

 

Rachel Kyte
Vice President for Sustainable Development