Plan Farms for Climate Change: Minister
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Adapting agriculture in Africa to accommodate drastic climate changes will reap benefits for future food security and the poor, International Relations and Co-operation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane says.
“Food security is important to Africa’s economy as it impacts heavily on a country’s poverty alleviation and sustainable development plans,” she said at an African ministerial meeting on climate change in Johannesburg.
“It is critical that governments and nations should assess the range of risks [with climate change] and plan to reduce vulnerability accordingly.”
Climate change could affect agriculture through higher temperatures, greater crop water demand, more variable rainfall and extreme climate conditions like heat waves, floods and droughts.
A knock to a country’s farming sector would affect not only food, fibre and fuel production, but the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), employment and foreign exchange earnings, she said.
Sub-Saharan Africa was particularly vulnerable as agriculture contributed to 30 percent of the region’s GDP and employed up to 70 percent of its labour force.