Agriculture stake­hold­ers launch ini­tia­tive on Cli­mate Change

The African - - NEWS - BY HARRIETH MANDARI

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.

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