Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Climate change threatens East Africa's most traded crops

Justus Lyatuu in the Daily Monitor (Uganda): Maize and beans, East Africa’s most traded and consumed commodities, are being threatened by climate changes. A new study published in the peer-review journal on Agricultural Systems, projects that climate change will have highly variable impacts on East Africa’s vital maize and bean harvests over the next two to four decades.

This is presenting growers and livestock keepers with threats since maize is a raw material used in the production of animal feeds. Previous estimates by the study projected moderate decline in the production of staple foods by 2050 for the region as a whole but also suggested that the overall picture disguises large differences within and between countries.

Mr Philip Thornton, who works for the International Livestock Research Institute and is the lead author of the new study, said: “Even though these types of projections involve much uncertainty, they leave no room for complacency about East Africa’s food security in the coming decades.”

“Countries need to act boldly if they’re to seize opportunities for intensified farming in favoured locations, while cushioning the blow that will fall on rural people in more vulnerable areas.”

…Mr Carlos Seré, ILRI director general said the emerging scenario of climate-change winners and losers is not inevitable. “Despite an expected three-fold increase in food demand by 2050, East Africa can still deliver food security for all through a smart approach that carefully matches policies and technologies to the needs and opportunities of particular farming areas,” Mr Seré said….

A field of millet in Uganda, shot by not not phil, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0 License

No comments: