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March 18th, 2019 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

It’s an old proverb in these lands that since man has learned to shoot without missing, birds have learned to fly without perching — and the same is true with farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).

As climate change becomes more of a reality, bringing uneven seasons, longer droughts and heavy rains that are often accompanied by strong winds, floods and disease, farmers in SSA are starting to plant more resilient varieties.  Those who do plant varieties that are drought-tolerant, disease-resistant, fast-maturing and with stronger stems — traits that counter the climate’s tricks — reap big.

Dr. Emmanuel Zziwa, national climate change and adaptation officer at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, said more farmers in the region are changing crop choices to get around climate change and its effects. From Kenya to Nigeria and from Sudan to South Africa, farmers are transitioning. And as a result, they are harvesting “more food” and starting to look at agriculture as more than subsistence. Read more …