Food and Rural Livelihoods

GLF 2017 Blog Competition
Jackson Sapuleni

The importance of food can not be over emphasized. More so the need for increased productivity to feed the rapidly increasing population especially in Sub Saharan Africa should be a major taking point. Most of the rural population derive a living from agriculture. However, most of their efforts are hampered by low production and effects of climate change. To try to counter low productivity, most rural farmers increase the land size farmed or practice shift cultivation which involves deforestation and land degradation respectively. Increasing yield potential should be the major focus of our farmers or else we may have problems in the coming years. Its is about time rural farmers adopted climate smart technologies that focus on increasing productivity of land while preserving the environment. For example, most cereal farmers could intercrop their cereal crops with plants such as faidherbia albida which is termed a magical and complete tree as it provides nutrients required for most cereals while providing lime to counter soil acidity quite prevalent in sub Saharan Africa. This intercrop is also a way of afforestation which is a way of conserving nature. The integration of crop and livestock farming in a piece of land coupled with technologies like biogas digesters would greatly improve rural livelihoods. This is because integrated crop and livestock production maximises the use of farm resources to increase production and the waste from these activities can be used in biogas digesters to create biogas which can be used for lighting and cooking. The creation of biogas in rural areas is a very good way of reducing pressure of deforestation in sub saharan Africa. Another invention I strongly believe would reduce the pressure of deforestation is the use of energy efficient mud stoves which need to replace conventional firewood use in rural areas. I believe these climate smart technologies should be the focus of training programmes if we are to improve rural households, preserve natural landscapes as well as have food on our tables.

Comments for this post are now closed