Originally published beam..
Climate change is creating uncertainty in rainfall patterns for Mosesungoni and other co-farmers not only in Zimbabwe but throughout sub-Saharan Africa. It is one of the most damaged areas on the continent due to extreme weather events such as long-term droughts, cyclones and floods.
In Zimbabwe, there has been little or no rain for the past two years. This year’s rainfall patterns were similarly unpredictable. In October, the Meteorological Services Department warned farmers not to plant crops during normal hours as the country received the first rain of the season a month earlier.
However, Ngoni and other farmers did not receive this important information, so they proceeded in a routine manner and planted staple corn grains. This turned out to be a serious mistake. Not only was the crop devastated by an unexpected heavy rain, but the heat wave that followed shortly afterwards completely destroyed the crop.
“The crops we planted from the first rain in October have failed and we need to replant everything. It’s frustrating, but especially for the past three years, the rain patterns have been unstable and uncertain, so we’re told. There is nothing we can do, “said the Ngoni in the dry Beitbridge district.
Access to climate change information remains difficult for many Zimbabweans and other African farmers, which has implications for food security. More than 7 million Zimbabweans are currently facing food insecurity, according to UN data.
This is because, for example, Zimbabwe’s mobile penetration is currently around 87%, despite the current evolution of mobile coverage across the continent. Nonetheless, mobile coverage and connectivity remains poor and inadequate in rural areas where most co-farmers rely on agriculture.
According to a new survey, most African farmers are not yet covered by mobile coverage, not to mention high-speed mobile internet. This makes it difficult to disseminate information on climate change conditions that have a significant impact on regional yields and food security.
New research, Global division of data-driven agriculture, Published this month Nature Magazine Shows that “coverage gaps between mobile and data are important obstacles to the development of data-intensive nutritional advisories, climate services, and financial services that require mobile Internet access.” ..
In Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Madagascar and Burundi, the study states that the local average of farmers’ mobile phone ownership ranges from 34% to 51%.
Researchers can run SMS-based advisories and alerts, and interactive voice response services on low-end mobile phones, even when co-owned or shared among community members, productivity, market connectivity, and finance. We believe it provides an important opportunity to address the issue of relocation. , Credit access, input usage, intra-season management, and a wide range of agricultural landscapes around the world.
“We designed all farmers to improve their knowledge of agriculture and make decisions based on dissemination in the context of climate change,” said Peter Makwanya, a climate change communication consultant, in the midst of high mobile connectivity. It does not benefit from the agricultural and climate research that has been done. ” ..
“If connectivity and networks are available, distance issues are not an issue, but without networks, information dissemination, including research innovation, can be limited,” he said. ..
Nigeria has many mobile solutions to help farmers inform, and the EcoFarmer mobile program also exists in Zimbabwe, but mobile and data coverage is limited, especially in remote areas and dry agricultural areas. ..
Weather information is very important to farmers in these areas, and lack of access to it can have serious negative consequences. As environmental bottlenecks take hold, farmers in arid regions, most susceptible to drought, are now slowly shifting from crop farming to work areas such as livestock.
Gwinyai Chibaira, Agricultural Livelihood Manager of the Catholic Relief Services Corporation, oversees farmers’ ability to make a significant shift to livestock farming in Beitbridge. Many of the beneficiaries of the program are women, and the region is most affected by climate change due to the social setting of the community.
“This year, we are working on a project to dig wells and install solar pumps in gardening wells to reduce the burden of finding water for women. By solarizing the pump system, these women You can spend less time in the garden, “he explained.
Under the scheme, farmers also receive the ability and financial support to grow feed for livestock such as goats, cattle and sheep.
Livestock farmers in the region are also working with agricultural extension workers to address the information gap on climate change, but experts say mobile phones for croppers through strengthening and expanding network coverage. Reiterates that can be an effective and relatively simple solution.
Author’s biography: Tawanda Karombo is a Harare-based climate change and science journalist focused on sub-Saharan Africa. He has over 10 years of experience covering the region and his work has been published in Quartz Africa, Earthbeat, National Catholic Reporter, America Magazine and more. Follow him on Twitter @tawakarombo!
Cellular coverage gaps impede climate resilience and readiness for African farmers
Source link Cellular coverage gaps impede climate resilience and readiness for African farmers