Re-thinking Farming as Climate Change Continues to Ravage Africa

12/13/2016
World Policy Blog

On a hot and humid day along the Kenyan coast, the clouds turn black. The signs are ripe for the long awaited downpour. Any moment now, rain will fall. The anticipation begins to grow. Hours turn into days, days into weeks, and weeks into months. But nothing comes—not even a drizzle. Instead, farmers watch helplessly as their crops wither and die.

The farmers on the southern coast of Kenya are not alone; many across East Africa haven’t seen rain for over three months. Around the world, record-breaking temperatures and severe droughts caused by climate change are affecting ecosystems, agriculture, and society's ability to produce the food we need.

The most affected by the ongoing drought are the poor, who depend on farming, fishing, or pastoralism for their livelihoods. They also depend on rain for agriculture. Without rain, there is no food—and 80 percent of African agriculture relies on rain.

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