Wednesday, October 26, 2011

African Farmers adapting to climate change

There is growing evidence that farmers in Africa are already adapting to climate change. They are beginning to change their farming methods on their own in order to keep harvests plentiful.

A development research conference in France touched upon that subject last week. Writer Christophe Assogba from Science relays what was said by one expert at the conference.

"Social adaptation to climate change has also been found in animals," said Abdoulaye Gouro, president of the scientific committee of the research network RIPIECSA (Interdisciplinary and Participatory Research on Interactions between Climate, Ecosystems and Society in West Africa).

He was speaking at a workshop last week (18–21 October) organised by France's Institute for Development Research (IRD) to obtain feedback on current RIPIESCA projects.

"Farmers are not inactive in the face of climate change. They are sowing second crops, and growing cassava, yams and so on in the lowlands. They have been able to increase their acreage in some areas because of the shifting seasons," Euloge Agbossou, head of the hydrology laboratory at the University of Abomey-Calavi, Benin,told the workshop.

"People are not waiting for engineers, scientists and researchers in order to adapt to climate change. They are aware of the phenomenon, they feel it around them and they have adapted to it," he said.

"Now it is up to us to improve on their methods, and see whether their approaches to adaptation are consistent with what science indicates."

No comments: