Climate change poses new threats for Africa’s agriculture sector, sending it into crisis. East Africa is now the least fed place on Earth and climate change will only make matters worse, through increased temperatures and disruptions of the seasonal rains.
The last Climate Summit in Paris gave journalists a premiere opportunity to rephrase the global warming story. Climate reporting attitudes were silently accepting of the fact that the issue is overwhelming and grave. That’s not true anymore.
As we better understand the potential tragedy in store for us, we can finally get a clear perspective of the path forward, and how to get there quick. The African sector of agriculture is by far the most underrated subjects on global climate change today. It is a fascinating mix of culture, technology, politics, and science, which make it very newsworthy.
As we know, great challenges also offer great opportunities to grow and innovate. East Africa has dozens of stories waiting to be told, by many stakeholders, such as entrepreneurs, politicians, farmers or families.
One in three East-Africans live without enough access to reasonable food., according to the UN. Crops in the region have the lowest yields on the planet. Where present, African farms have only one tenth of the productivity of Western farms, making sub-Saharan Africa the only place on Earth where the food production is falling.
Climate change is threatening to complicate matters by raising temperatures and affecting seasonal rain, which many farmers depend on. The University of Notre Dame made a catalog of world countries, based on vulnerabilities to climate change.
At number one is New Zealand, while the US is ranked at number 11. The best rated African country is South Africa, down the list at number 84. Kenya, Nigeria, and Uganda are below number 147. These countries will be hit the hardest by the imminent climate change aftereffects.
Rice, wheat or maize productions will fall by 20% by 2050. These crops are important for Africans, however, widespread drought could mean shortages of these foods.
African farmers say that they only produce enough for them to eat, let alone sell. The story has even sadder consequences, as food and water scarcity can amplify conflicts. Terrorist organizations like Boko Haram in Nigeria or Al-Shabaab in Kenya grow stronger, as the food and water quantities decrease. This is why climate change poses new threats to the development of African countries, and could result in heavy migration to Europe and elsewhere.
Image Source – Wikipedia