WATCH: Why farmers should take climate change seriously

When it comes to climate change there is no doubt – Mzansi’s agricultural community has seen it all. From increasing floods to devastating droughts. As if that’s not enough, our farmers are in constant combat with another threat – pests or disease outbreaks.

In his week’s Farmer’s Inside Track video, senior agricultural economist at the Western Cape Department of Agriculture Tshepo Morokong explains why small-scale farmers should be paying attention to climate change.

“It is today’s reality,” he says, “and conventional farming systems which used to work many years ago are not able to withstand the types of climatic variabilities.”

In the video Morokong explains that there are few factors under a farmer’s control, and for this reason it is important that small-scale farmers invest in research. The economist says that when starting their farming operations farmers should already have mitigating strategies in place.

“Farmers need to take into account how they will increase the capacity of their farming operations to withstand shocks like floods, droughts, pests or an outbreak.”

His take on different approaches small-scale farmers can use against the effects of climate change involves the practice of conservation agriculture. According to Morokong farmers should apply all means necessary to minimize disturbances of the soil.

“At the speed at which things are changing, we can never underestimate the importance of continuously researching what some of the new developments are. Take time to consult relevant places where you can get credible information,” he adds.