A youth with his weeding tool sets out to tend to his sorghum crop in Katanga Village, near Fakara, in Niger (photo credit: ILRI/Mann).
Africa’s agricultural sector experiences many of the impacts of climate change even though the continent is a minor contributor of greenhouse gases. African leaders and governments are part of on-going global initiatives (like the 2010 Cancún climate talks) to address climate change and many are putting in place measures to enable agricultural producers, especially small-scale farmers, adapt to already occurring climate change and deal with longer-term climate change challenges.
Listen to this 7.37-minute interview of Philip Thornton, an agricultural systems analyst with the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), by Australia’s ABC NewsRadio. Thornton says due to the prime importance of agriculture in Africa and that many of Africa’s politicians come from families recently living off the land, they see climate change as a real, already happening, issue.
‘For many [African politicians], it’s completely obvious what’s going on and that climate change is a real issue. . . . For many of these leaders, this link [between climate change and agriculture] is very real.’
Philip Thornton leads a component of a new multi-institutional research program, Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security, of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research.