May 7, 2018 | Climate change

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO)  bulletin reports on global greenhouse gas emissions indicate that the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere gradually increased to 403.3 parts per million in the year  2016 compared to 400.00 parts per million in 2015. The report further cited human activities and increasing occurrences of Elnino as the major causes of the rapidly increasing concentration levels of carbon dioxides in the atmosphere.

Scientists, researchers and parties to the Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) revealed that carbon dioxide is the leading component of greenhouse gas emitted globally. As a result of population growth, the rising demand for food leading to more agricultural activities, environmental related ecosystem destruction like deforestation, demand for energy and industrialization are the major emitters of carbon dioxide which contributes to atmospheric greenhouse gas concentration.  

While agriculture is the main source of livelihood in Sub-Sahara Africa, it is the leading cause of greenhouse gases after energy. It’s related agricultural transformation land use activities such as bush clearing, burning, use of chemicals and fertilizers are the major causes of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide gases.

Efforts towards the realization of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) on ending hunger and having a food secure population continues to hit a snag due to climate change in Africa. Statistics show that agriculture, forest, and other land use activities are the leading sources of greenhouse gas emissions in  Africa.

With the decline in land fertility and the need to boost productivity, farming management related practices including the use of fertilizers, manure, and recycling of crop residues in the farm emits greenhouse gases. Impacts of climate change have been witnessed in Africa, especially in East Africa, where prolonged drought has been recorded in 2017 compared to other years.

At the same time, agricultural and land use related activities offer higher potential opportunities for cutting down greenhouse gas emissions through the adoption of climate change measures. New agricultural practices aimed at making farming climate change resilient create an enabling environment for reducing GHG emission. Climate-smart farming,  a concept initiated by the Food And Agriculture Organization (FAO) with the objective of increasing productivity, enhancing resiliency and reducing emissions thus increasing adaptation and mitigation measures to impacts of climate change. Climate-smart farming integrates water and land management practices which include agroforestry, soil and moisture conservation. As well as investing in alternative sources of energy-renewable energy helps in reducing emissions in the energy sector.

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