Investments in green development are direly needed

Climate & Natural resources,Food Security20 Dec 2010Girma Balcha

The AFC conference resulted in a Roadmap for our future Climate Smart Agriculture. Agriculture is the way out of the problem of global food security. If the problem of land degradation is left without treatment, agricultural productivity can fail even with increased fertilizer application. Fertilizer application is not the solution when the whole ecosystem is collapsing. We need to restore natural ecosystem in which smart agriculture is ensured by way of securing lands, forests, water etc. In Africa, for example, we need Green Development, and this is the primary option to feed the growing poor population.

Every household needs to have complete package of ‘green stock’ around his/her homestead. Indigenous knowledge can be used as the baseline to promote climate smart agriculture and to cope with extreme climate changes.

Africa did not benefit from the Green Revolution. At present change in climate has its own negative effect on agricultural development. Farmers need support to promote agriculture and associated land management activities.

While I am writing this comment, it has been raining since last night. It is an untimely rain, all crops already dried in the field before being harvested. The farmers have no technology to collect all harvest from the field. Farmers lose most of their crops that they been growing in the whole season in 2 or 3 hour rain. Such practical problems need to be addressed in a practical solution. What to do next? I think we need to be proactive. If we delay, we always pay our delay but not to the solution. A further delay, be it in negotiation, agricultural investment etcetera can result in a serious problem that we cannot reverse. The questions is: what are the solutions. The points of the solutions are clear even from the roadmap of the Hague. The problem is that action is lacking. To my mind, if Climate Smart Agriculture is taken as one of the Agendas in Cancun it will be the first step. I can then say Hague Conference was a success.

After Cancun, we need to come up with various Climate Smart Agricultural Projects. Awareness creation at all levels, involve the local communities etc. to work on adaptation and mitigation programmes. Developed countries should come up with resources and technology transfer. Developing countries have to work on reforestation and sustainable land use management. These are just examples of what can be done. Let us move forward with the idea of Climate Smart Agriculture.