Friday, December 9, 2011

Boosting agriculture is key to reducing effects of climate change

Kim Lewis in Voice of America: Scientists say agriculture must be a key focus in confronting the effects of climate change. Agricultural experts at the climate conference in Durban, South Africa, say this year's meeting offers a unique opportunity to address the role of agriculture in reducing the effects of greenhouse gas emissions.

“If you look at the projections for climate change, the worst hit is going to be Africa,” said Bruce Campbell, director of the Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security for the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR).

“Even if you look at what’s happening today in terms of the numbers of disasters, numbers of floods, numbers of droughts, it’s already being felt in Africa,” he said.

Campbell, who’s attending the conference, said climate change is wiping out crops and livestock. But he said a variety of solutions are being discussed at this year’s meeting, as are many small-scale success stories.

“What one wants to do is scale up on the successes. For example, there’s risk insurance; it ensures farmers against calamities. There [are] improved weather advisories so farmers have a better idea before the season starts, and then they can make wise decisions about whether they invest in fertilizer,” said Campbell....

Crops near Greenwood Forest Park. Field of maize ( I think) next to this Forest Park. Shot by Keith Williamson, Wikimedia Commons via Geograph UK, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license

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