Harnessing Tradition and Innovation: African Farmers’ Solutions to Climate Change

James Tshuma, a small farmer, exhibits his homegrown vegetables in his small garden in Mangwe district, Zimbabwe, on March 22, 2024. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)

From ancient farming techniques in Zimbabwe to modern greenhouse technology in Somalia, African farmers are embracing the past and future to address climate change.

Africa, with its youthful population, bears the brunt of a warming planet despite having minimal contributions to the issue. Farmers are racing to ensure the growing population has enough to eat.

Despite having 60% of the world’s unused land, Africa struggles to feed its populace. Conflict and insufficient investments prevent many from affording nutritious meals.

In drought-stricken Zimbabwe, farmer James Tshuma is salvaging a plot of vegetables using homemade organic fertilizers. Neglected resources are proving invaluable.

Employing organic fertilizers, including plant residue, animal remains, and food scraps, is a traditional approach being revitalized.

Climate change worsens the longstanding issue of poor soil fertility in sub-Saharan Africa, prompting a blend of old and new agricultural practices.

Drought-resistant crops and traditional ingredients are reemerging in Zimbabwe, indicating a shift in food preferences driven by changing conditions.

In Somalia, greenhouses offer an oasis for city dwellers amid a tumultuous history of conflict and natural disasters.

Shopping for locally grown produce in Mogadishu provides a sense of security and stability for residents accustomed to imported vegetables.

New bean varieties in Kenya promise a brighter future for farmers grappling with changing climate patterns.

The quick maturation of the “Nyota” bean variety allows farmers to harvest before drought takes its toll.

Improved bean production and lower flatulence levels in this climate-smart variety bring hope to farmers like Benson Gitonga.

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