Drought / East Africa / Ethiopia / Food Security / Insurance / Kenya / Somalia / Vulnerability

Drought-tolerant crops and crop and livestock insurance can help farmers fight effects of drought in the Horn

‘A partnership between academics and a beer company, which sent sorghum prices soaring in East Africa, has been highlighted as a way of harnessing agricultural research to fight the effects of drought such as the one in the Horn of Africa. . . .

‘The example was highlighted at a press briefing in Nairobi last week (1 September), which called for research into more permanent solutions to food crises caused by droughts. The Horn of Africa is going through the worst drought in 60 years, which has already pushed nearly 13 million people to the brink of starvation.

We can prevent [this situation] from happening again if we are willing to embrace the research and policies that give the farmers in the region the tools they need to be resilient in the face of increasing uncertainty,” Lloyd Le Page, chief executive officer of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) consortium said.

Namanga Ngongi, president of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) said that, ‘to market these crops successfully as alternatives to maize there is also a need for crop and livestock insurance to guard farmers against losses caused by drought and for more agricultural investments from the private sector as is already the case in West Africa.’

Read the whole article in SciDevNet: Breweries persuade drought-hit farmers to switch crops, 5 Sep 2011.

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