Agriculture stakeholders launch initiative on Climate Change
Tanzania leaders and Ambassadors from East and Southern Africa have launched ‘VUNA’ a new initiative which links smallholder farmers, governments and private sector in their efforts to mitigate climate change effects.
As a result of rising temperatures and their resultant droughts, farmers across the region get reduced yields, less incomes and therefore reduction of household food stocks.
Billed as ‘climate smart agriculture’, Vuna aims at alleviating shortage of raw materials for processing plants so that their businesses become viable. Countries across the region are working to strengthen the agricultural sector in the face of this climate change.
The initiative launched in Dar es Salaam recently, is intended to help smallholder farmers by supporting the use of better methods and technologies which reduce climate risks. The gathering recognised the need to look at different dimensions of farming, and forge partnerships between multiple stakeholders and focus on increasing market viability and adapting to climate change.
Governments and scientists recognise that helping farmers adapt to the changing climate requires regional level collaboration and lesson learning, to identify and then rapidly scale up best practice, which really works for farmers, to combat current and future climate impacts.
“Our efforts cannot be on just national levels; we need a regional effort to address the recurring droughts which threaten our agriculture sectors, as well as the other climate change impacts such as increasing temperature. Government welcomes this new support to the region and is already working with ‘Vuna’, so that we can help our farmers face these challenges,” said Raymond Mbilinyi the Executive Director for Tanzania National Business Council (TNBC).
The joining of forces– of farmers, governments, private sector and development partners - at this meeting signifies a major step towards finding the best approach to helping farmers build their resilience, in a region which is the most vulnerable to climate change, affected by climate impacts such as flooding, erosion and variable rainfall.