May 10, 2018 | Food security

Over the years, drought, soil infertility, pests and diseases besides lack of capital investments in agriculture have been the biggest impediments to the green revolution in Africa, therefore, posing a major setback to food security.

The Green revolution was a major initiative aimed at boosting crop production through the use of pesticides and artificial fertilizers especially in developing countries with the aim of ending food insecurity. While other parts of the world like Asia and India favored the growth and implementation of the green revolution, Africa did not offer the best opportunities for long-term commercial farming as vast areas were then not navigable.

Agriculture in  Africa has taken major steps to increase production and fight food insecurity by promoting the use of pesticides and artificial fertilizers. The 2006 Abuja Declaration on the use of fertilizers for Africa Green Revolution stressed the strategic importance of fertilizers in agricultural production. In this regard, African Union member states agreed to a  speedy and timely access to fertilizers for farmers, reduce costs and increasing their use to boost production and end hunger in Africa.

While the use of fertilizers has raised a lot of environmental concerns from environmentalists, parties toUnited Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) point out that fertilizer manufacturing plants and agriculture contribute a significant amount of greenhouse gas emission. In addition to environmental degradation, substances associated with fertilizers such as nitrates become toxic to aquatic life hence destroying the ecosystem.

With the growing threats to climate change, scientists and experts have indicated that agriculture has a huge potential in cutting down emissions hence there is a need to invest in safer methods of farming. 

The vulnerability of agriculture to the impacts of climate change and building resiliency through the green revolution gives various opportunities with multiple farming practices which include,  but not limited to, Climate Smart Agriculture. Sucess in sustainable land and water Management are among the prospective benefits from climate change adaptation measures.

Climate-smart agriculture is one of the component of the green revolution taking root in Africa. Its adoption by small-scale farmers is practical since most of them are likely to bear the brunt of climate change. These farmers are the major beneficiaries of climate-smart agriculture objectives which include, increase production, reduce greenhouse emission and increased income.

The implementation of the green revolution, established on the basis of crop diversification and maximization of water and land use with the aim of maintaining a steady food supply; encourages the use of low-cost farm practices like organic farming, environmentally friendly farming model, soil conservation among others.

 On the other hand, agroforestry, animal husbandry, apiculture (or beekeeping) among other farm practices help in creating resiliency to drought and losses.

The pathway to “Green Revolution” in  Africa stand to benefits small-scale farmers while mitigating the impact of climate change.



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