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Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition • FSN Forum

Re: What story can Small Island Developing States (SIDS) tell on addressing the relationship between poverty and climate change?

Andrew Isingoma
Andrew Isingoma Agriculture consultant and FSN-FORUM-MEMBERRwanda

Response to Question 1;

The examples of actions that are taken to reduce poverty: First and foremost thanks for these good questions which help me to express activities done very relevant to my career, there are a number of activities done to reduce poverty, food insecurity, and nutritional challenges in response to climate change:

A, Reduce poverty:

There are many activities being done to reduce poverty like enabling or financial facilities to the farmers in cooperatives to support their micro-projects of agricultural activities, those activities include: growing of tomatoes, and other horticultural crops which do not require higher agronomic techniques and farmers take the products to the market. We can talk of activities done to facilitate traditional water harvesting like rain water harvesting that helps farmers to irrigate their horticultural crops, micro-loans, financing the trainings of farmer informal agronomists to help other farmers. Farmers education: this is teaching farmers the importance of using modern farming systems like use of fertilizers, spraying, proper planting methods, growing periods all mentioned activities are being done to reduce poverty in people vulnerable to poverty to improve their livelihoods.

B, Food insecurity and climate change:

The results of climate change are increase in drought of many areas and very low rainfall in many areas of the world, here as plant breeders and all environmental specialists; the response to this problem is the introduction of new crops and plant species which can resist climate drought problems, this activities of introducing new crops are done in many areas of research institutions, new crops like hybrid maize, beans, sorghum, millet, banana, wheat, rice, etc are being introduced to farmers, these drought resistant crops helps to reduce food insecurity.

The activities done by Nigerian farmers of digging small hills in their field to hold rain water this helps to prolong the water in the soil and reduce soil erosion.

C, nutrition and climate change:

There are a number of activities being done to improve nutrition; like projects that support processing to increase a number of products from the same crop/plant, processing include package/storage facilities of the product to resist dryness for a long period of time, reducing deterioration and seed dormancy to crops, proper seed storage and overall increased value to the crop for being useful for a long period of time after harvest while actually have not lost its nutritional content

 

Response to question 2:

The lesson from adaptive capacity build to the poor involves a number of recommendations from the experience learnt; first, when you want to develop a community base on their culture and customs, if you bring something they don’t understand it will collapse when you depart, or they will just do it to make you happy. The crops liked by a community or which bring economy to the poor people. You give facilitation to the people basing on the commodity which can do well in ecological condition of the region. The farmers usually grow crops which do well in their region and the development should come to support the very crops preferred by the farmers and can do well in that agro-ecological conditions. There should be a forecast to resist climate events like floods, which destroy crops and human building; by digging water harvesting dams, planting trees around bare areas and the fields.

 

Response to question 3;

  • The challenges are introducing projects that are not relevant to the community customs or religion,
  • Not allowing the target group in the suggestion of the micro projects which supports them,
  • introducing of crops which do not do well in the ecological condition of the Areas,
  • Introducing of commodities which are not relevant to the need of the society and are not preferred by the majority.
  • Poor planning and policy makers who are the final decision makers
  • The individuals who do not like the good progress of the target areas and start dirty education of resisting projects

 

Response to question 4;

What should the world learn from these experiences?

  • The would should first reason the climatic behavior and changes and the way out.
  • The world should promote plant breeding sciences because it is the only way to do crop gene editing which can change crop to match climate changes.
  • When addressing poverty include community members to participate and respect responses given by farmers in survey questionnaires.
  • Avoid introducing a commodity (a crop) without clear information of climate or ecological condition of the region.
  • The projects should facilitate farmers’ needs basing on the economic crop.
  • The world should promote horticultural crops because most of crops does not require higher agronomic techniques to be grown and have a great healthy importance
  • These should be projects supporting irrigation and water storage facilities not depending on rain water