Climate variability and extreme weather events are putting hunger on the rise globally. However, rural communities in Africa are using agricultural innovations to ensure that they are more prepared to deal with the effects of climate change.
Food security and climate change are interconnected. The choices we make today are vital for a secure future of food. The resources we use to produce our food are becoming more precious than ever before in this changing climate.
In Zimbabwe, Sheilla Sibanda from the Chinhoyi University of Technology, has been working on a project that incorporates cowpea flour in the production of chicken sausage. Cowpea flour is native to Sub-Saharan Africa and is a great source of calories, vitamins, minerals and protein. Incorporating this readily available legume into other products is a great way to improve diets and food security.
“Children often suffer from kwashiorkor (a severe form of protein malnutrition), amongst other forms of malnutrition, so the development of such products is paramount,” explained Sheilla.
While Margaret Naggujja a Ugandan ensures that farmers have access to the necessary tools to transform smallholder agriculture from subsistence to sustain profit enterprises, helping them create a financial buffer should adverse conditions affect business. Smallholder farmers can rent the machinery with flexible financing options, achieved through the establishment of a collective hiring centre.
A Nigerian based Ohaha Family Foundation trains farmers on modern agricultural practices.
“This includes training farmers on soil health and different types of farming techniques to keep the ecosystem fit for continuous use,” the Foundation’s John Ede said.
It should be noted that the effects of climate change on our ecosystems are severe, impacting agriculture, livelihoods and food security. One way to tackle the negative effects on food security is through further research into common food products and innovations in ways to use them.