Reviving Ancient Wisdom: African Farmers Embrace Tradition and Innovation to Combat Climate Change

In Machakos, Kenya, farmers are adopting climate-smart beans to combat climate change. From ancient farming techniques in Zimbabwe to modern greenhouse technology in Somalia, African farmers are adapting to the challenges posed by a changing climate.

Africa, home to the world’s youngest population, is disproportionately affected by climate change despite contributing little to the problem. As a result, farmers are under pressure to feed the growing population.

Despite having more than 60% of the world’s uncultivated land, Africa struggles to provide a healthy diet for its citizens, with three in four unable to afford it. Factors such as conflict and insufficient investment contribute to this problem.

In Zimbabwe, small-scale farmer James Tshuma is struggling to harvest crops due to the El Nino-induced drought. However, he is using traditional organic methods to cultivate a thriving vegetable garden. By recycling livestock droppings, plant residue, and other biodegradables, he is keeping his patch of green alive.

Climate change exacerbates soil fertility issues in sub-Saharan Africa, prompting farmers to revisit traditional practices like nutrient recycling. By blending these practices with modern techniques, farmers like Tshuma are finding ways to adapt to the changing climate.

In Somalia, greenhouses are revolutionizing agriculture in conflict-prone regions, providing a stable source of fresh produce for urban populations. This shift towards greenhouse farming not only ensures year-round supplies but also creates employment opportunities for youth in a country grappling with high unemployment rates.

The introduction of a climate-smart bean variety in Kenya is bringing hope to farmers facing reduced rainfall. Dubbed “Nyota” or “star” in Swahili, this bean variety is tailored for diverse climatic conditions and matures quickly to withstand droughts. Farmers like Benson Gitonga are seeing increased yields and profits thanks to this new variety, which is also known for its low flatulence levels, making it a desirable choice for consumers.

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