Let’s take note of climate change


IT has been yet another false start to the current farming season.
The rains came ‘late’.
Crops almost wilted due to moisture stress; some actually lost their entire crop, especially those who planted with what they believed to be the first rains.
But when one looks closely at the situation, one finds that there is nothing new in the late coming of rains.
This has been going on over the past few years now.
Why is that so?
There is reality that has been creeping into our lives: But we have chosen to ignore it — climate change!
Climate change is affecting all regions of the globe but Africa has been more vulnerable to climate change’s devastating effects by comparison.
Ours is a continent with a very high dependency on agriculture.
Climate change is a large-scale, long-term shift in the planet’s weather patterns or average temperatures.
From the foregoing, it is high time we accept, as a nation, that things have changed.
Our weather patterns are no longer the same.
And the acceptance of this reality must come from the top — now.
Our leaders must acknowledge that our weather patterns have changed in order for the country to plan accordingly.
The impact of climate change on food security will be greatest in African nations.
We must commit to big actions to match the effects of climate change, given the size of the problem it poses.
As a continent, our vulnerability to climate change lies in the fact that our agricultural systems remain largely rain-fed and underdeveloped.
Let us also court investors interested in developing our agricultural sector.
A majority of our farmers are small-scale farmers with few financial resources, limited access to infrastructure and disparate access to information. 
But these small-scale farmers have highly productive land and many are closer to water bodies.
Government must scale-up its support of irrigation programmes.
Let us make full use of the many water bodies at our disposal to irrigate our land.
This is the message that President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa carried when he went to commission the Siyalima Farm Irrigation Scheme in Guruve on Wednesday.
Besides that intervention, we must come up with water preservation strategies that will ensure that the country does not encounter water shortages.
We can construct more dams.
We can create weirs.
We can channel excess water to farms.
Our farmers must be told of the changes that have taken place in the climate.
Armed with this information, they will then plant their crops at the appropriate time so that they, and the country, do not suffer from the dry spells we have been experiencing in the time of the traditional rain season.
We should also be aware of the causes of climate change.
In November 2015 the world converged in Paris, France, for a climate change summit.
A policy known as the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change was adopted by all 196 countries at COP21 in Paris.
But it is facing serious threats from nations that are reneging on their pledges to adhere to the Paris Agreement’s long-term objective to keep global warming below two degrees Celsius.
Let us all come together to deal with the climate change phenomenon.


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