Smarter Farming Could Cut Hunger in Drought-Hit Southern Africa
Southern African farmers facing hunger as a result of worsening drought know a lot about climate change but lack the resources to put solutions that work into place, agriculture and development researchers say.
That is in part because government agricultural extension services, which offer training and advice to farmers, have too few agents, according to a report by the Technical Center for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation, based in the Netherlands.
In many cases, farmers are simply not aware of potential solutions, said Oluyede Ajayi, a senior program coordinator with the center, speaking on the sidelines of a regional meeting this week in Johannesburg on scaling up climate-smart agricultural solutions.
Such shortcomings are one reason an ongoing drought in southern Africa has left 23 million people dependent on food aid, with another 13 million in need of help, according to the Southern African Development Community, which launched a $2.8 billion emergency appeal in July.