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African Farmers Need to be at the Forefront of Climate Change Initiatives

African Farmers Need to be at the Forefront of Climate Change Initiatives

In March, the Kenyan government launched a 5-year climate change project funded by the Green Climate Fund. The project, Twende, is expected to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change-induced droughts in 11 counties across Kenya and is set to benefit 620,000 farmers. Before that, the government spearheaded another climate change project titled the Kenya Climate Smart Agriculture Project, with the goal of aiding 522,000 households spread across 24 counties by the end of 2022.

While these efforts are commendable, they are at a national level and spearheaded by the government. There is another gap in climate change intervention that is separate from the government and certainly worth considering. Individual farmer-led climate change actions can play a huge part in addressing climate change and other environmental issues, more so in Africa, but it has to be done right with firm regard to the climate change context of individual African countries.

The climate situation in Africa is somewhat different from the rest of the world in three main areas. First, Africa is not a significant emitter of greenhouse gas emissions. Yes, certain African countries do emit greenhouse gasses, but nothing on par with the West. Africa as a whole, produces the least greenhouse gas emissions of any continent.

Scott Fields observes: “Africa can easily be said to contribute the least of any continent to global warming. Each year Africa produces an average of just over 1 metric ton of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide per person, according to the U.S. Department of Energy’s International Energy Annual 2002. The most industrialized African countries, such as South Africa, generate 8.44 metric tons per person, and the least developed countries, such as Mali, generate less than a tenth of a metric ton per person.

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