AGRICULTURE AND FOOD SECURITY

“We mentor farmers to combat post harvest”

Scientists agree that Africa is already experiencing the effects of climate change. Shifting ocean currents are causing more frequent and severe storms and higher temperatures and erratic rainfall patterns are bringing extensive flooding and calamitous droughts. Climate change is also considered one of the main culprits behind the unprecedented and catastrophic locust swarms across East Africa. Africa is on the frontlines of increased climate variability which will further expose already vulnerable regions and communities. The effect of climate variability on agriculture is particularly devastating to Africa’s small-plot farmers who make up approximately 80% of Africa’s farms. Their success and viability is inextricably linked to the continent’s ability to feed itself. To help small farmers navigate the destructive impact these changes can have on food production, Africare has been working with farmers to build their resilience by teaching agro-pastoralists how to sustain their economic livelihoods during lean periods and to remain productive and self-reliant in the face of climate shocks.

 

To accomplish this, we support farmers from planting to market, helping them increaseyields, income, and their family’s food security even in harsher growing conditions. For example, to increase crop yields in nutrient deficient soil, we help farmers access enhanced inputs such as fertilizers and high-yield disease/drought resistance seeds. As water supplies become more unpredictable, we teach farmers techniques in micro-irrigation, rainwater harvesting, and soil conservation. When the time comes to harvest, we work alongside farmers to identify optimal harvest days and seed multiplication techniques for use in the next planting season. We mentor farmers to combat post harvest loss with improved crop handling, storage in anti-hermitic bags, how and where to dry produce, and safe moisture levels to avoid spoilage. We help small farmers harness their collective power by developing farmers’ associations and mentoring them on market-linkage strategies and management and leadership skills. We help them gain access to financial services such as micro- credits and link them to competitive markets. In remote areas, we establish One Stop Centers that sell much needed agricultural supplies, provide warehouse storage, create community libraries and training centers, and offer a central gathering place to better coordinate input and post-harvest markets. Ultimately, we partner with farmers to build their resilience to climate shocks and protect the land their livelihoods depend upon.