Farmers across the continent are confronted with some harsh realities in the face of climate change, and presenters at the Pan-African Summit on Youth in Sustainable Agriculture stressed the importance of climate-smart agriculture in future.
Marc Dumas-Johansen, an agriculture and food security specialist with the Green Climate Fund (GCF), said experts agree that global agricultural production must be increased by about 60% from the current levels to meet the increased food demand expected in 2050.
He painted a picture of the current challenges in the agriculture and food security sector saying, “[The] most vulnerable population, smallholders, account for only 12% of the world’s farmland but provide livelihoods for more than 2 billion people and produce about 80% of the food in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.
“The key challenge is how to make our food systems more resilient and produce more with less while lowering greenhouse gas emissions?”
Andrew Ardington, founder of the Regenerative Agriculture Association of Southern Africa, talked about the need for the sector to change the way it is currently farming because traditional agriculture has been in a “war on the planet”.
His presentation was focused on the importance of soil, as it not only grows our food but also cleans our water, stores water and regulates floods.
“Every year we lose 75 billion tonnes of soil through farming. For every tonne of mealies we produce [in South Africa] we lose three tonnes of soil. One doesn’t need to be a soil scientist to realise this is not a healthy situation.”
In case you missed the livestream, watch Dumas-Johansen’s and Ardington’s informative discussions, and other speakers at Food For Mzansi’s Pan-African Summit on Youth in Sustainable Agriculture, by clicking the video below.
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