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Climate change has affected many African staple food crops, so there is an immediate need for governments to take strict actions to assist farmers in getting used to changing weather patterns.
A new study revealed that due to the changing climate, farmers across Africa will need someone helping them adapt to the change. Farming community should receive help from local and governmental authorities; otherwise, food scarcity could cause catastrophic outcomes.
If we fail to deal with the problem now, researchers believe that growing crops in sub-Saharan Africa could become rather difficult in near future. Nine crops are threatened by climate change, including bananas, beans, and maize.
The region’s nine African crops are responsible for roughly 50 percent of the entire food production of Africa, so the study set out to see the damage done by climate change.
They found out that by 2100, one-third regions where bananas and maize were grown, and over half of those producing beans could be incapacitated to provide favorable conditions for the crops.
By the end of this century, three of the nine analyzed crops will definitely be at risk, the ones mentioned before. The remaining six – finger millet, pearl millet, yam, groundnut, cassava, and sorghum – will still be solid, but not thriving under the predicted extreme weather conditions.
Lead study author Julian Ramirez-Villegas, working with the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), explained that this study points to the locations and the times when “interventions need to be made to stop climate change destroying vital food supplies in Africa.”
We already knew what needed to be done, he said, but this is the first time we have been given specific deadlines for taking action. The researchers found that in order to eliminate the climate change’s effects, it’s required that 40 percent of the areas growing maize to be transformed.
In other words, another type of crop should be planted there, such as sorghum and millet; both these crops can replace maize as they have better mechanisms for dealing with drought and extreme weather conditions.
However, all the solutions we have – such as breeding improved crops – require a minimum of 15 years to start taking effect, so the report authors could not stress more the urgency for action.
“Sub-Saharan Africa needs agricultural reforms to stop climate change,” and there are more ways for reform to enter the continent. It depends on each individual country in the region how they want to implement the changes, but experts advise them to start taking action as soon as possible.
Image Source: The Breakthrough