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British-Norwegian film depicts farmers facing climate change, earns FAO prize

The film “Thank you for the rain,” a British-Norwegian coproduction, was awarded the FAO Osiris prize today at the 33rd Agrofilm festival in Slovakia.

Film director Julia Dahr tells the heart-warming story of Kisilu, a Kenyan subsistence farmer, as he struggles to support his wife Christine and their seven children.

The global community today has a growing awareness of climate change and its impact on agriculture. In November 2015, 197 countries became parties to the landmark Paris Agreement which brings countries into common cause to combat climate change and adapt to its effects. Urgent action on climate change is also one of the internationally adopted Sustainable Development Goals.

But the practical problems faced by Kisilu are an eye-opener. He has long grown cassava, papaya trees and other crops, but a few years ago growing conditions started to change for the worse.

Droughts now prolong the lean season. And rain – which Christine calls the “mother of all things in the world” – now tends to bring more damage than benefit.

Understanding the connection between cutting down trees and increased soil erosion, Kisilu becomes an advocate for sustainable agricultural practices that help preserve the environment.

“Thank you for the rain” is a film that brings hope. In spite of all the hurdles he and other farmers are confronting, Kisilu doesn’t want to leave his plot and migrate to a city. He would rather continue farming and help others do the same.

FAO theme for this year’s World Food Day (16 October) is migration. The main message is that with investments in food security and rural development, an enabling environment can be created for rural communities to secure livelihoods and change the future of migration.

Kisilu establishes farmer field schools and with the support of the film director, even travels to Paris to tell his story on the global stage at the United Nations climate change conference (COP 21).

About Agrofilm
The 33rd edition of the international film festival, Agrofilm features over 130 movies, in several cities across Slovakia, including the capital Bratislava. With several side events, such as farmer’s market, the festival puts agriculture, food and related topics in the spotlight. It is organized by the National Agricultural and Food Centre, under the patronage of FAO.

6 October 2017, Nitra, Slovakia

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