Rising temperatures devastating Africa’s small farmers

Published on 15 April 2013

Democratic, stable, fertile Senegal used to be a rare success story in Africa. It could feed its people and even export surplus food. But last year, almost one million people needed emergency food aid as the harvest failed across much of west Africa. (..) Only rapid intervention by international agencies averted a crisis. The EU stumped up more than €100 million for the UN’s World Food Programme (WFP), which distributed aid and cash vouchers to the worst-affected communities across west Africa. However, the fear of a repeat this year is strong. So what happened to destroy its rich soil and beggar its farmers? (..) “The rains have become extremely erratic. They start early, finish late, and there are long spells without any rain,” explains Inge Breuer, country representative of the WFP. (..) Conscious of the challenge, agencies such as the WFP are adopting new approaches to tackle the effects of climate change.

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