dimanche, 17 décembre 2017
 

Climate Change and Africa

East Africa is already the hungriest place on Earth : One in every three people live without sufficient access to nutritious food, according to the United Nations. Crop yields in the region are the lowest on the planet. African farms have one-tenth the productivity of Western farms on average, and sub-Saharan Africa is the only place on the planet where per capita food production is actually falling. Now, climate change threatens to compound those problems by raising temperatures and disrupting the seasonal rains on which many farmers depend.

An index produced by the University of Notre Dame ranks 180 of the world’s countries based on their vulnerability to climate change impacts (No. 1, New Zealand, is the least vulnerable ; the United State is ranked No. 11). The best-ranked mainland African country is South Africa, down at No. 84 ; Nigeria, Kenya, and Uganda rank at No. 147, No. 154, and No. 160, respectively. In other words, these are among the places that will be hit hardest by climate change. More often than not, the agricultural sector will experience some of the worst impacts. Emerging research indicates that climate change could drive down yields of staples such as rice, wheat, and maize 20 percent by 2050. Worsening and widespread drought could shorten the growing season in some places by up to 40 percent.

This isn’t just a matter of putting food on the table. Agricultural productivity also lies at the root of broader economic development, since farming is Africa’s No. 1 form of employment. So, even when hunger isn’t an issue, per se, lost agricultural productivity can stymie rural communities’ efforts to get the money they need for roads, schools, clinics, and other necessities. "We only produce enough to eat," lamented Amelia Tonito, a farmer in Mozambique. "We’d like to produce enough to eat and to sell." More food means more money in more pockets ; the process of alleviating poverty starts on farms.

The story goes beyond money. Hunger, increased water scarcity, and mass migrations sparked by natural-resource depletion can amplify the risk of conflict. Al-Shabaab in Kenya and Boko Haram in Nigeria have both drawn strength from drought-related hunger.

Source from http://socialistbanner.blogspot.fr

 
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