9 000 Farmers Take Up Climate Smart Agric

ABOUT 9 000 farmers in the province have taken up Climate Smart Agriculture programme, offered by the Zimbabwe Framers Union to ensure food security.

The programme seeks to transform agricultural systems to ensure food security in the face of climate change.

ZFU is sending climate-related messages to farmers’ mobile phones to ensure that their crops and livestock are protected from the impact of climate change.

In an interview, ZFU Midlands provincial manager Mr Alpha Manjera said, farmers are already benefiting from the programme.

He said about 9 000 farmers from the province have shown interest in the programme.

“The programme is still a pilot project in three districts — Kwekwe, Zvishavane and Shurugwi — and we have approximately 3 000 farmers in each district.

“Farmers are getting messages from us.

“They are also insuring against the risk of climate change, so that in the event of drought they can get payouts,” said Mr Manjera.

A farmer from Shurugwi, Mr Totonga Gwenzi, said he is optimistic that the programme will help him improve his yields.

“I hope this programme will bring positive results and drought will become a thing of the past.

“In this district, we often receive low rainfall, which usually leads to drought,” he said.

The programme is the brainchild of the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and was launched in 2010 to promote agricultural best practices, particularly integrated crop management, conservation agriculture, inter-cropping, improved seeds and fertiliser management, as well as supporting increased investment in agricultural research.

According to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, rising temperatures and increased frequency of extreme events will have direct and negative impacts on crops, livestock, forestry, fisheries and aquaculture productivity.

Climate change is a universal and critical challenge to global food security.

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