The UN recently held a conference that brought 800 participants together from around the world to determine the best solution to malnutrition and food insecurity in Africa, a problem that is worsened by climate change and a lack of healthy ecosystems. The congregation agreed that healthy ecosystems are essential for farmers to produce enough food and ensure future food security in Africa.
Keeping ahead of climate change by increasing the productivity of local ecosystems was decidedly the most cost effective solution for small-scale farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa, who comprise 60 percent of the entire workforce. Farming practices which keep ecosystems healthy, like agro-forestry and conservation agriculture, have already been proven to benefit farmers in Uganda. These methods improved soil fertility and increased crop yields, and less time and money was required to prime the land before planting. That time and money was then invested in diversifying crops and raising livestock. The result was a reduction in poverty and improved food security for 75,000 Ugandans.
Natural disasters and droughts, which are increasingly more frequent due to climate change, and unsustainable resource depletion and environmental degradation result in frequent food shortages for Africa’s population. If projections for the future are correct, by 2050 the nine billion global citizens will need twice as much food produced globally today to survive. Unless something is done about climate change, and the current rate of ecosystem destruction is reversed, food prices are expected to rise as high as 50 percent. These projections are particularly worrying for Africa, with 239 million malnourished citizens already struggling.
– Jennifer Bills
Sources: UN News, AllAfrica