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African farmers can build resilience against climate through regenerative agriculture

March 5, 2024
African farmers can build resilience against climate through regenerative agriculture

Mr. Samuel Robert Kwasari, a Technical Officer at Be the Help Foundation (BHF), emphasized the importance of Regenerative Agriculture (RA) as a solution for smallholder farmers to build resilience against the impacts of the climate crisis. Speaking at a regional media engagement event on Agro-ecology and climate justice organized by , Mr Kwasari highlighted RA as a holistic system that improves water and air quality, enhances ecosystem biodiversity, produces nutrient-dense food, and helps mitigate the effects of climate change by storing carbon.

RA involves community-based food production systems, enabling communities, especially in underserved areas, to access fresh and nutritious foods. Mr Kwasari underscored RA as a reliable method of farming that contributes to and poverty reduction in rural areas. He emphasized that RA systems aim to reduce dependency on external inputs such as seeds, fertilizers, and pesticides, thereby minimizing input costs and promoting sustainable agriculture.

The event, organized under the Strategic Partnerships for Agro-ecology and Climate Justice in (SPAC-West Africa) project, aimed to enhance the knowledge of climate change and agriculture reporters from across the continent on agro-ecology and climate justice. The 2024 seasonal forecasts of Agro-hydro-climatic characteristics of the major rainy season in the Gulf of Countries recommended the adoption of RA by farmers to mitigate the predicted rainfall deficit in certain regions.

Mr. Azubike Nwokoye, the ActionAid Nigeria Deputy Country Director and Food and Agriculture Programme Manager, emphasized that embracing RA could help address major challenges in agriculture, such as the overuse of chemical fertilizers. RA promotes nature-based solutions to restore degraded soils and promote sustainability, thereby contributing to environmental conservation.

Mr. Donald Ikenna, Program Coordinator, Heinrich Boell Foundation Nigeria, highlighted the negative effects of agricultural inputs like pesticides, particularly on poor and vulnerable communities in countries with less stringent enforcement mechanisms. He cited alarming statistics from the , indicating millions of cases of pesticide poisoning annually among agricultural workers, with significant fatalities, primarily in developing nations. Despite increasing pesticide imports into Africa, food insecurity and malnutrition remain prevalent issues, suggesting the need for alternative approaches such as RA to ensure sustainable agricultural practices and food security.

The discussions at the event underscored the urgency of promoting RA as a sustainable farming approach to address the challenges posed by climate change while ensuring food security and environmental conservation in Africa. As stakeholders continue to advocate for the adoption of RA and the reduction of harmful agricultural inputs, the hope is to foster resilience among smallholder farmers and promote sustainable agricultural practices across the continent.

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