Climate change is proving to be the greatest obstacle in Africa’s quest to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s), and represents a profound challenge to continue feeding a growing world population.
Current projections from the UN estimate a world population surpassing 9 billion by 2050, half of the projected increase is expected to occur in 9 countries, 4 of which are in Africa: Nigeria, Ethiopia, the DRC and Tanzania. An increase in agricultural production is the only way to continue to feed a growing world population.
The full effects of climate change on agriculture are still uncertain, but it is clear that agriculture, which currently contributes to 14% of greenhouse gas emissions, will be one of the hardest hit sectors. According to a recent Food Policy Report, released by IFPRI, food insecure populations in developing regions most vulnerable to climate change can expect yield declines in some of their most significant crops, rising prices in rice, wheat, maize and soybean crops and a decline in the calorie availability by 2050, resulting in a 20% increase in child malnutrition.
In order to prevent this future from becoming a reality, adaptation and mitigation efforts in agriculture must be combined to tackle the threat posed by a changing climate. Often referred to as the triple win, climate-smart agriculture looks to decrease the environmental impacts of farming, increase productivity and strengthen farmer’s resilience to climate change. By minimizing the harmful effects of farming, and maximizing small-holder productivity, climate-smart agriculture has the potential to fuel agricultural production and feed a growing population.
Information and Communication Technologies (ICT’s) like the aWhere platform provide crucial information instantly to players across the agricultural value chain; representing an opportunity to drive the adoption of climate-smart practices.
aWhere’s technology is perfectly positioned to support climate-smart agricultural projects. Through the aWhere platform, practitioners can gain contextual insight from real-time, on the ground data, allowing for evidence-based decisions and the achievement of climate-smart production.
The ability to view and interact with localized weather data means that weather risks associated with climate change can be managed, and the addition of long-term climate scenario forecasting (coming soon) will allow for location specific risk models to be created. Additionally, through the integration of weather and other environmental data, climate-smart recommendations can be pushed to farmers, advising on what and when to plant, providing weather forecasts and climate-smart farming tips to increase farmer productivity and decrease environmentally harmful farming practices.
While ICT’s themselves are not a solution to the threat posed by climate change, they represent a great opportunity to access critical information and collaborate on climate-smart models in a changing world.