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African farmers must do more to beat climate change: study

By Alister Doyle

OSLO | Thu Sep 6, 2012 8:05pm EDT

(Reuters) – African farmers are finding new ways to cope with droughts, erosion and other ravages of climate change but need to develop even more techniques to thrive in an increasingly uncertain environment, scientists said on Friday.

Smallholders have started to plant more drought-resistant and faster-growing crops to keep the harvests coming in, according to a survey of 700 households in Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda and Tanzania.

“The good news is that a lot of farmers are making changes,” said Patti Kristjanson, who heads a program on climate change, agriculture and food security at the World Agroforestry Centre in Nairobi and led the study.

“So it’s not all doom and gloom … but much more needs to be done,” she told Reuters.

Farmers, backed by researchers and international donors, needed to find better ways to store rain water, increase the use of manure and bring in hardier crops like sweet potatoes, she said.

In the past decade, 55 percent of households surveyed said they had taken up faster-growing crop varieties, mainly of maize, and 56 percent had adopted at least one drought-tolerant variety, according to the findings in the journal Food Security.

FIGHTING EROSION

Fifty percent of the households were planting trees on their farms – helping to combat erosion, increase water and soil quality and bring in new crops like nuts.

Half of the farmers had introduced inter-cropping – planting alternate rows of, for instance of beans and maize, in the same field and then swapping the rows next season. Beans fix nitrogen in the soil, helping reduce the need for fertilizers.

But Friday’s study found just a quarter of farmers were using manure or compost – avoiding the use of more expensive fertilizers. And only 10 percent were storing water, it added.

The study said that global warming, leading to erosion, less reliable rainfall and changes in the length of growing seasons, was adding to other stresses for farmers worldwide such as price spikes and a rising population.

Kristjanson said the study showed encouraging signs of many farmers’ willingness to adapt.

But faster change may be needed because Africa is especially vulnerable to climate change, according to the U.N. panel of climate scientists which blames heat-trapping emissions of greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels.

In Africa, up to 220 million people could be exposed to greater stress on water supplies by 2020 and yields from rain-fed agriculture in some countries could be cut by up to 50 percent by 2020, according to a 2007 U.N. report.

(Reporting By Alister Doyle; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

Source: Reuters

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Overcoming Tourism Challenges May Boost the Industry

BY ISSA YUSSUF, 5 SEPTEMBER 2012

Experts from various countries worldwide met in Zanzibar mid last month to discuss various issues on tourism industry in developing countries. The International Conference on Sustainable Tourism in Developing Countries was organized by the University of Dar es Salaam Business School (UDBS), Marketing Department.

Dr John Philemon, the Conference Coordinator said the August 8 and 9 meeting at Zanzibar Beach Resort in Zanzibar was to “deliberate on findings emanating from various researchers on matters pertaining to the industry, as well as practical experiences that would offer solutions to numerous problems facing the tourism industry in developing countries.”

The conference, attracted participants from Uganda, Kenya, Botswana, Israel, Nigeria, South Korea, Iran, Mexico, Sweden, United Kingdom and hosting Tanzania. Some delegates came from Namibia, New Zealand, South Africa, United States and Germany.

In his speech to open the conference, Zanzibar second vice president ambassador Seif Ali Iddi said friendly eenvironment are important in promoting sustainable tourism in developing countries with a focus on cultural tourism, capacity development, and awareness in conservation.

“It is now common knowledge that social and economic development in African and other developing countries depends considerable on establishment and development of small and medium size enterprises,” the vice president said in his speech read by Mr Said Ali Mbarouk, Minister for tourism, on his behalf.

He said that the enterprises are now greatly in tourism sector, therefore the need for sustainable tourism remains crucial in developing “our countries,” as most of the participants mainly students, lecturers, and tourism operators from 15 countries mainly African countries nodded in support.

Several papers were presented at the conference being held at the Zanzibar Beach Resort, with emphasis on sustainable tourism to involve conservation, environmental integrity, social justice and economic development, aiming at benefiting people.

The Vice Chancellor of the University of Dar es Salaam Prof Rwekiza Mukandala also observed that sustainable tourism was important at this era when sustainable tourism plays a big role in economical development.

The World Tourism Organization defines sustainable tourism as “tourism which leads to management of all resources in such a way that economic, social and aesthetic needs can be fulfilled while maintaining cultural integrity, essential ecological processes, biological diversity and life support systems.”

In addition WTO describes the development of sustainable tourism as a process which meets the needs of present tourists and host communities whilst protecting and enhancing needs in the future.

It explains further that sustainable development (including tourism) is about making sure that people throughout the world can satisfy their basic needs now, while making sure that future generations can also look forward to the same quality of life, it should recognise that the three ‘pillars’ – the economy, society and the environment – are interconnected.

But according to the researchers, and stakeholders at the meeting, although in many developing countries like Tanzania, there have been efforts to develop tourism, little efforts is being taken to overcome challenges facing the tourism sector and particularly how it could be improved, and alternative tourism products managed so as to maximize their contribution to economic development and poverty alleviation.

Mr Simon Ole Seno, from the school of natural Resources management- Narok University College, Kenya also mentioned another challenge of the tourism market is almost entirely controlled by both the tourism companies and the tourists of the developed countries, with little benefits by local people surrounding the tourist sights.

Local people and Members of Parliaments (MPs) have been also complaining about the foreign dominance of the tourism industry. Many hotels are owned by foreigners, most staffs in hotels are foreigners, and most tourists are foreigners! With only few benefit for local people.

Members of the Zanzibar House of Representatives (MPs in Zanzibar) have repeatedly that the tourism sector is dominated by foreigners contrary to the isles ambition of establishing the industry three decades ago.

At Tourism conference, participants urged governments in developing countries to focus at training local people to work in hotels instead of foreigners, motivate local investors to invest in tourism business, improve infrastructure, and over come other challenges.

Mr Sudhanshu Shekhar Mahato, Lecturer, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, School of Social Science College of Humanities and Social Science, University of Dodoma says, “Although there has been substantial growth in the number of tourist in the recent years, but it is difficult even to maintain the trend in the absence of improvement in the existing infrastructure and facilities.”

Mahato said expanding business in tourism, means individual government in developing countries have to overcome some of the existing challenges in the tourism industry which include infrastructure, poor hotel services, climate change, maintaining good relations with local people, wild fire, drought and migration, and security in the country and tourist sights.

Infrastructure: plays a vital role with regards to convenient movement of people both from inside and outside the country. Access to different parts of the Tanzania and Zanzibar by roads, railway, air is most suitable from comfortable point of view as well as the travelling cost is concerned.

Hotel Services: Hotel services throughout the country are limited especially at the tourist spots. This gives no option for the tourist to make a choice but to opt for what is available at hand although the prices are very high in comparison to the facilities available.

Climate Change: One of the significant issues that have posed to be a matter of serious concern to the government, researchers and social activist in the recent years is the impact of climatic change experienced by water bodies specially.

The dropping down of water level in Lake Victoria due to climatic change is very threatening. Similarly loosing of glaciers from Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in the African continent by almost 80 percent since 1912 and rising water level in Indian Ocean undoubtedly suggest the consequence of climatic change. Beach erosion has become almost a regular feature in recent years, mitigation could help.

Eviction of people from the National Park Area: A good number of people, who have inhabited the areas from generation after generation, are forcefully evicted when the government lease out the area for industrialization and other reasons. This threatens the social harmony in the region.

Although efforts are made for their resettlement and compensation but the compensation paid is not adequate to meet their requirement especially in terms of recreation of their livelihood.

Wild fire: Besides acute shortage of water, the spread of wild fire is equally a great threat to flora and fauna of the regions. A number of species are endangered because of either natural or manmade fire that engulfs the insect and small animals particularly.

Drought and migration of animals: During dry season in general and droughts situation in particular compels the huge migration of animals from one region to another either in search of food to meet their hunger or looking for water to quench their thirst.Since there is no physical boundary to restrict their movement, there exists every possibility of a large number of animals entering into the neighbouring territory.

Security: Although developing nations like Tanzania in African continent can proudly boast of not having a civil war or the act of terrorism as mostly reported in other developing countries but the maintenance of such temperament itself is a big challenge for the government. Mere negligence of the government might spark an ignition that would cause huge pay particularly to this growing industry serving as the backbone of the nation’s economy.

Presenting a paper at the tourism conference on “the Impact of 2011 post elections violence and “Boko Haram” insurgency on tourism development in northern Nigeria…” Mr Ibrahim Sani Kankara from the department of history and security studies at the Umaru Musa Yar’adua University, Katsina state, Nigeria said that the development of tourism industry in Katsina that was established over long period time has been greatly destabilized over the period.

“Katsina state is the centre of origin of Hausa people and at the same time an important centre of learning in the West African sub-region. The historical development in the area had left Katsina with legacies of historical sites and monuments that attracted people from different continents as tourist over the last century,” said Ibrahim adding

“The government in the area over the years have committed millions naira to burst and improve the tourism potentialities through building of roads and providing basic amenities in order to give the tourist site a world class outlook. But, with 2011 post election violence that erupted after the April elections and the present Boko Haram insurgency in the Northern Nigeria region economic activities were greatly affected.”

Tourism in Zanzibar which relies heavily on biodiversity with several wonderful sights from historical sights, culture, to the sandy beaches on its coastline, is a major foreign exchange earner with about 80 percent. It now employs over 40,000 people including those employed indirectly.

Source: allAfrica


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Food security concerns as climate change effects bite

5th September 2012

Tanzania has emphasised the need for Africa to identify initiatives that will improve food security in the continent.

The call was made on Monday by the chairman of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) Richard Muyungi who is also the assistant director for environment in the vice president office.

Speaking in Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, he said Africa needs also to needs support to organise itself in capacity building and adaptation of new technology without pushing farmers into it.

“If we identify these key steps the issue of mitigation will follow…” he noted.

The informal agriculture consultation took place at the margins of a Bangkok climate change talk which is in preparation for, the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) to be held in Arusha Tanzania next week as a way of deepening the understanding of the issues as related to Agriculture and that could be adopted during COP 18 in Doha at the end of this year.

Representative members from some of the World’s least developed countries held the informal meeting to exchange views on Agriculture related issues.

The participants shared ideas on what the SBSTA should do including the assessment of the nations’ state of scientific and technical knowledge in respect to the effects of climate change in agriculture on the African continent.

SBSTA recognises as well, the importance of food security, synergy and the core benefits of mitigation in the agriculture sector. It further recognises the links between agriculture and poverty reduction particularly to small and marginal farmers.

Source: The Guardian


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More People Understand Carbon Trading – Experts

BY ORTON KIISHWEKO, 4 SEPTEMBER 2012

MORE people now understand the benefits of carbon trading and accept such projects in their areas, experts from Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) say.

Dr Eliakimu Zahabu of SUA told the ‘Daily News’ that fears have been allayed to help mitigate effects of climate change, as communities gradually understand what carbon trading is.He however urged that enough research and appropriate education be conducted before deals on cutting greenhouse gas emissions by measures such as planting trees are signed.

Carbon trading is a market-based mechanism for cutting carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide is the main contributor to climate change and is usually emitted through burning fossil fuels.The loss of forests around the world accounts for around 20 per cent of greenhouse gases.

According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, the country lost an average of 352,570 hectares of forest a year between 2000 and 2005. When the greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane are in the atmosphere, they trap sunlight and raise temperatures.

Dr Zahabu said carbon trading deals were initially complicated for ordinary people to comprehend though handling carbon trade financing proposals still requires understanding of the trade.Tanzania and Norway have deals worth over $8 million under the Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (Redd+) strategy, as part of the $73 million the Norwegians will be providing in five years to develop and implement Redd+ in developing countries.

Dr Zahabu said SUA has been undertaking such forest carbon measurement training for villagers since 2000 to enable them to acquire vital skills to do the work of carbon measurement on their own rather than seek services from external consultants who would demand hiked fees.

He said that when carbon trading starts, the costs of outsourcing carbon measurement and monitoring will be very high, which may affect villagers’ earnings. Dr Zahabu said a carbon project must identify and determine the extent of all forest utilization levels before the start of the project and make sure that the uses are not transferred elsewhere in the presence of the project.

Source: allAfrica


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Development partners declare new terms for support to Tanzania

BY BEATRICE PHILEMON

1st September 2012
Tanzania should identify five or fewer areas for which they want development partner support before asking for assistance for both economic and environment issues as donors are concerned mainly about priorities that benefit people.

Inger G. Naess,  Norwegian Embassy Counselor, Environment and Climate Change, declared the stand on Thursday  during the donors’ meeting on  Retreat between the government  and development partners environmental working group to discuss  post RIO+20 outcome and other environmental  issues in Tanzania.

Tanzania should decide on what it needs and find the challenges to be addressed, she said. “As government, make sure you make priorities that will help Tanzanians to benefit from what we offer in terms of financial assistance as well as help the country meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).”

She said they want to support Tanzanians so they can bring about sustainable development, conserve environment, help people have sustainable energy for productive activities, reduce climate change challenges, address disaster and even prevent environmental degradation of forests.

Meanwhile, Dr Julius Ningu, Director of Environment, Vice President Office said the country faces many challenges in terms of poverty caused by drought, environmental degradation due to charcoal production, climate change caused sea level rise, energy issues and land conflicts.

“We are here today with development partners to share experience with them on the problems we have in terms of environmental issues in Tanzania so that they can understand where we are, the situation we are in …”

They also discussed climate change and how it has caused sea level rise at Maziwe Island, Fungu la Nyani Island in Pangani including  other areas, drought caused poor agricultural harvest in some regions in the country.

According to Ningu some areas have been affected by saline intrusion, and it is becoming harder for the inhabitants to earn a living from crop cultivation, which has been the mainstay of the local economy.

“I know the country has so many challenges but by involving them (partners)  in face to face discussion, share experience on the challenges we are facing in terms of  poverty, environment issues, it would be easy for them to support us although right now they have asked Tanzania to identify five areas to be supported by development partners.

“I think in September this year, the government will meet to discuss the main challenges the country is facing as well as identify five areas that would be supported by development partners for the benefits of Tanzanians,” he said.

During the donors meeting, participants were from the ministry of natural resources and tourism, NGOs, the ministry of energy and minerals, land, natural resources and environment committee.

” We express thanks to development partners who have donated funds to Tanzania through the United Nations Development Programme and Denmark for the climate change mitigation in Tanzania.

Ningu said the discussion has been positive so far as development partners have made contributions  for preparing a national resolution at the International conference.

Additionally, they have discussed how Tanzania could implement the RIO+20 outcomes of the conference and participants at Rio+20 were encouraged to make voluntary commitments for actions to implement the conference’s goals.  The conference was held in South Africa in June this year.


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Climate Change – Bleak Future for Zanzibar Economy

BY ISSA YUSSUF, 29 AUGUST 2012

ZANZIBAR is already highly vulnerable to climate variability, and will be amongst most affected by future climate change, while sea level rise received most attention; there are multiple risks, particularly to ecosystem services that underpin island economies.

This is a concluding paragraph in a research report conducted on ‘Climate Change on Zanzibar: Impacts, Adaptation, Economics &Low Carbon Growth’ by the Global Climate Adaptation Partnership, and local partners. Thanks to the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) for funding. Researchers in the report launched two weeks ago, have advised Zanzibar that adaptation can reduce the risks, cautioning of cost, and requires necessary finance and capacity to access and effectively use resources.

Mr Paul Watkiss, the research project director, led other experts in the eight month research in the Islands advising further, Zanzibar to act now, including considering Low carbon development by providing a more sustainable energy future, development and sustainability benefits, and opportunities for finance

The objectives of the study were to: Assess climate change impacts and their economic costs for Zanzibar, analyze costs and benefits of adapting to these effects over different timescales, assess the potential for low carbon growth, including development benefits and finance opportunities, and build national capacity and take advantage of local knowledge. In a general perspective a large proportion of Zanzibar’s GDP and most of the livelihoods on the islands are associated with climate sensitivity activities, either directly such as with agriculture or tourism, or indirectly for example from the use of natural resources.

Therefore the economy and people of the islands are very dependent on the weather and climate. However, the finding in the research shows that climate of Zanzibar has been changing, and in the last decade has seen a significant increase in extreme events (climate variability), the recent extreme events such as droughts and floods, as example, which has led to major economic costs.

The researcher observed that future climate change may also lead to a change in the frequency or severity of such extreme weather events, potentially worsening impacts, and that it will also change the climate of the islands, leading to a number of potential impacts. “As an island, Zanzibar will be potentially be affected by sea level rise and coastal erosion, as well as possible impacts on the agriculture and tourism industries. The islands have a rich marine environment that provides important ecosystem services, and these are particularly at risk,” the report says.

In her speech at the launch of the report, Ms Fatma Abdulhabib Fereji- State Minister responsible for climate change and environment said the study is to prepare “our country along the pathway of a green and climate-resilient economy. In order to minimize the impacts and maximize the opportunities posed by climate change, Zanzibar must now plan and implement appropriate actions and coordinated response towards climate change.”

She said that there was importance of mobilizing climate funding from a variety of sources, public, and private bilateral and multilateral, regional and international, including innovative sources of finance, to support Zanzibar’s need on climate change adaptation and mitigation plan, should be recognized and taken seriously. The minister said that although Zanzibar is already benefiting from climate change finance such as a pilot programme for climate resilience supported by the government of Japan under the UNDP-AAP programme, and the implementation of HIMA-REDD project financed by the Government of Norway through care International, “but more is required.”

Fatma thanked development partners and DFID for supporting the study, as she emphasized, “It is extremely important that any climate change policy, strategy, action plan, National Mitigation Actions (NAMA) and alike of the United Republic of Tanzania (URT) should have a specific bearing on the needs and uniqueness of Zanzibar. Only then can the URT show a unified commitment in mainstreaming the issues of climate change adaptation in every corner of its society.”

On his part the Zanzibar climate change committee chairperson- Dr Omar Shajak said “We all know that climate change is real and the impacts of climate change on our environmental, social, and economic setting are visible. The debate has now moved from whether climate is happening or not, rather it has moved towards how we can prepare our country against the negative impacts of climate change, as described in the goals of MKUZA-II.”

He explained that MKUZA-II focuses on the national capacity to mitigate and adapt the impacts of climate change on Zanzibar by year 2015. “This can be done through strengthening of climate change adaptation responses at all levels of our economic sectors,” he said. Shajak pointed out that the path towards climate adaptation is not an easy one, and that it requires a national determination to engage all the three major options of climate change which include: capacity building in climate risk mapping, climate monitoring and awareness programsme; short-term NO regret options that focus on strengthened environmental management, protection and conservation; and climate screening in policies, planning, projects and on infrastructure.

“…there are many areas in Unguja and Pemba that are already experiencing this impact. Examples include increased salinity in the coastal wells; natural degradation of existing sea boundaries; intrusion of soil water to the crop fields; and destruction of fragile infrastructure,” he said. As example of some negative impacts of climate change in Zanzibar in last decade, the researchers mentioned in their report, rising impacts such as the 2005 flood (highest intensity of rainfall on record), which made 10,000 people homeless, and estimated economic cost 0.5 per cent of the GDP.

In 2007 drought (low and erratic rains) one of worst agricultural harvests, reduced island GDP by 2 – 4 per cent leading to about 300,000 people in malnutrition in 2008; 2009 and 2011. Wind storms (wind speeds increased in recent years), and major damage from monsoon winds, with property destruction. In the same year (2007) heat wave (highest ever recorded on island), and Sea surface temperatures highest on record, affecting seaweed industry.

The researchers also observed that future climate change will lead to high economic costs in “developing countries especially Africa and small Islands like Zanzibar, likely to have higher relative impacts with uncertain economic costs than other world regions.” It is mentioned in the report that future changes also threaten national growth/development objectives, risks of non-marginal changes (irreversible loss), and that without global mitigation, post 2030 impacts would be very severe.

Coral bleaching, mangroves destruction, drop in fisheries, agriculture, and tourism, are other likely threats, but the risks can be reduced through adaptation; protection, but also measures of coastal vegetation buffer zones. Agriculture: with no adaptation, maize yields in Zanzibar could decline significantly, though minor crop on the islands, possible effects for rice, and potential risk to cloves from wind speeds and changing zone.

Energy: For Zanzibar, potential effects on electricity supply via submarine cable (interconnector) from Tanzania mainland’s national Grid, disruptions in recent years affected tourist sector and whole economy, but also increasing electricity demand on island for cooling (air conditioning) from hotter temperatures, therefore power is important because of tourism industry. Health: effects of climate change – major impacts likely around food and water borne disease, possible risks of new vector borne, and effects of flooding.

Ecosystem services: Provision, regulation, support, and recreational and cultural services, which includes large economic benefits, this would underpin very large percentage of economy of small island developing states, in Zanzibar, provision of food and supporting industry (fisheries), and coral (tourism). Coastal protection (mangroves) and many other areas, key to growth, exports, revenues, and terrestrial ecosystems on small island states vulnerable to shifting ecological zones, and growing recognition of the role for ecosystem based adaptation.

Tourism: often major sector for small island developing states, large part of tourism driven by climate (tourism comfort index). Climate change may reduce attractiveness, especially beach tourism, for Zanzibar, tourism attractiveness is a more complex mix of climate, cultural and historic, natural resource based.

Climate change will act directly and indirectly, cross cutting through all sectors (sea level rise, coastal erosion, marine, water, energy, ecosystem services), emerging linkages with low carbon (aviation). The researchers put emphasis on adaptation to reduce the impacts of climate change, and that practical adaptation requires different approach: Capacity building and soft (ecosystem based) options, not just technical, options that robust against future uncertainty, framework of decision making under uncertainty, and Iterative (risk based) decision making.

Electricity supply: Invest in renewable generation investing in indigenous energy to increase system capacity in view of future demand, and away from expensive back-up, improve infrastructure and demand efficiency, reducing grid losses and increasing efficiency of use through improved, appliances could potentially reduce future supply needs significantly. Urban and transport sustainability: Promotion of non-motorised transport.

This could be done through restricting vehicles in certain areas or further incentivizing cycling/walking by promoting safety or via other incentives e.g. credit schemes. Vehicle efficiency promoted through import restrictions and/or maintenance/inspection regimes. Agriculture: Improved cropland management a range of practices for enhancing agricultural system resilience, increasing productivity and for developing carbon finance projects; and promotion of sustainable tourism by addressing energy efficiency and wider carbon footprint, to enhance tourism sector image, long term sustainability and energy supply.

Source: allAfrica


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Dar es Salaam Welcomes Commercial Farming

BY SEBASTIAN MRINDOKO, 28 AUGUST 2012

WITH increased cases of extreme weather conditions due to climate change, commercial farming has been identified as an important activity that can boost the country’s economic growth.

In fact, commercial farming has remained a dream, despite years of beautiful agricultural slogans since independence. The government’s move to invite large scale agricultural investors is seen as an opportunity that will best put into implementation the idea of commercial farming with the ultimate goal of liberalising the sector to enhance its contribution to ending abject poverty.

The Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania’s (SAGCOT) is a programme designed to involve investors from the private sector with the goal of increasing food supply, generating households incomes, promote better access and utilisation of food to achieve meaningful nutritional gains.

Despite the positive intention of the move, some agricultural experts have expressed worries whether commercial farming would really benefit the whole nation or few investors. They also see “climate change” and it impacts on agriculture as an opportunity to be harnessed.

“Agricultural investors are like any other in the world wanting to make super profit out of the investment made with little or no consideration to small holder farmers, 80 per cent of whom lay their hopes for earning daily bread on farm activities,” said Dr Damian Gabagambi, an agricultural economist from the Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA).

He said the idea to invite large scale investors in commercial farming was good and if implemented rightly it would definitely transform farming activities to contribute significantly to country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) which is still below 30 per cent despite employing at least 80 per cent of the population.

Speaking at the second National Reference Group (NRG) meeting on Understanding Linkages and Stakeholders Experience, Dr Gabagambi said the government should scrutinise cautiously the implementations of commercial farming so that it never sideline small holder farmers.

The NRG meeting saw an urgency to develop awareness on how climate change, food security, and trade interact and build the capacity of all relevant stakeholders to develop and implement holistic responses. Dr Gabagambi cited the growing unhealthy relation among the Mtibwa sugarcane producers where large producers supply first their products before purchasing those of the small holders.

Apart from the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the parties, the trend suggests that in the long time, large scale investors will be able to meet the factory’s demands without depending on small holder sugarcane producers.

He similarly challenged state and non state actors to take time introducing the Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) seeds because it is a new culture to the Tanzanian farmers otherwise it would ruin agricultural activities. Dr Gabagambi also said it was high time for the public and private stakeholders to take climate change as an opportunity to transform people’s lives by improving commercial farming through the use of irrigation schemes instead of over dependency on rainfall.

Clarifying various issues raised by participants, Dr Gratian Bamwenda said there was need for the government to closely observe large scale investors that they support small holder farmers in terms of technology and markets. He called for technology improvement on weather forecast to ensure it provides clear and accurate information to farmers who have been incurring losses for keeping on trying again and again to plant seeds without knowing exactly the beginning of the rain season.

In the findings from the Country Study Findings on Linkages found that farmers in the regions like Tabora and Kigoma were keeping on trying to plant seeds as the way of presuming the start of the rain season due to lacking accurate weather information, a situation the plunges them to heavy losses.

The national network, which represented all relevant stakeholders from the government, the business, farming communities, CSOs, media and think tanks, is committed to making East African policy-making processes more inclusive in addressing climate-related hunger through trade.

With the increase in the intensity and frequency of extreme weather events due to climate change, agricultural and trade patterns in the EAC are drastically changing. This is causing additional large-scale hunger in the region. Harnessing the potential of trade by putting in place appropriate policies to ensure affordable food for millions of people is the need of the hour.

Source: allAfrica