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Smart Strategies For Enhanced Agricultural Resilience And Food Security Under A Changing Climate In Sub-Saharan Africa

K. Were, Aweke Mulualem Gelaw, B. Singh
Published 2016 · Environmental Science

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Africa’s population, growing at a rate of 2.7 %, reached 1.1 billion as of mid-2015 and is projected to be 1.7 billion in 2030, 2.5 billion in 2050 and 4.4 billion in 2100. This population depends on agricultural outputs from smallholder farmers who cultivate small parcels of, mostly degraded, land and have no access to reliable irrigation, affordable inputs, financial credit services, output markets and agricultural information. Thus, food security remains a great concern with ~220 million people (23.2 %) having been unable to consume enough food to lead active and healthy lives in 2014–2016. This is an increase of ~44 million people from 1990–1992. Ensuring food security without compromising sustainability of land resources under a rapidly growing population and changing climate is among the major challenges of this era. In this chapter, we present climate-smart agriculture (CSA) as an approach that can be adopted to increase agricultural productivity and incomes in environmentally and socially sustainable ways, enhance farmers’ resilience and mitigate climate change in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Specifically, we describe the array of proven practical techniques that underpin CSA, highlight soil as a limited resource and emphasise the importance of its sound management for present and future use. As none of the CSA technologies individually offers a magic bullet solution to the foregoing challenges and most of the promising technologies are founded on local knowledge, local and scientific knowledge must be integrated when choosing the most suitable climate-smart technologies and practices for any given agro-ecology. We thus recommend creating policies and multi-sectoral and multi-agency approaches which foster partnerships between governments, the private sector and non-governmental organisations to achieve CSA in SSA.
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