By Isaiah Esipisu
Nairobi, Kenya (PAMACC News) – African organisations championing against climate change have called on climate deniers to be compelled to finance climate change adaptation in developing countries and as well finance all the pledged Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) by all African countries.
This comes only two days after the Democrats in both United States chambers of Congress introduced a resolution condemning the efforts of fossil-fuel industries among others companies to deliberately cast doubt on science so as to mislead the public about the impact of the fuels on climate change, in an effort to protect their financial interests.
According to the resolution, fossil fuel companies have long known about climate change and the harmful climate effects of their products following numerous peer-reviewed scientific research and investigative reporting.
And yet, directly and through their trade associations, and foundations, the multi-billion dollar companies have developed sophisticated and deceitful campaigns that funded think tanks and front groups, and paid public relations firms to deny, counter, and obfuscate peer-reviewed research.
“This comes at the right time when the world is working towards implementation of the Paris Agreement, and therefore we call on the Republicans to join the Democrats into holding these companies accountable,” said Benson Ireri, the Senior Policy Advisor at Christian Aid.
Ireri’s sentiments were reiterated by Robert Chimambo of the Zambia Climate Change Network (ZCCN) and Mithika Mwenda of the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA).
“Over the years, these companies have made super profits from fossil fuel, and therefore, apart from just financing adaptation, they should support Africa’s quest for development using cleaner and sustainable energy,” said Chimambo.
The resolution points out that the companies have “used that misinformation campaign to mislead the public and cast doubt in order to protect their financial interest.
“It is a sign on the wall that 19 senators have to fight so hard against the super rich of the world, who have been misleading the general public for such a long time,” said Gerrit Bogaers, responding to a blog by Greg Laden.
According to the United States Environment Protection Agency (EPA), majority of greenhouse gases come from burning fossil fuels to produce energy.
EPA recognizes that the earth's average temperature has risen by 1.5°F over the past century, and is projected to rise another 0.5 to 8.6°F over the next hundred years, noting that small changes in the average temperature of the planet can translate to large and potentially dangerous shifts in climate and weather.
As a result of the slight changes that have already hapenned, Africa has turned out to be the hardest hit by climate change, and now many countries suffer severe droughts that result into starvation and famine, flash floods, landslides among other disasters that have direct impact to health and economies alike.
NAIROBI, Kenya (PAMACC News) – Globally, one-third of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted, the equivalent of 1.3 billion tons of food per year. In Sub-Saharan Africa – home to over 230 million people suffering from chronic undernourishment – the majority of these losses occur after grains have been harvested, but before they reach the consumer. About 30 per cent of the grains produced on the continent is lost due to inadequate post-harvest management, lack of structured markets, inadequate storage, and limited processing capacity.
With more than 70 per cent of Africans drawing their livelihoods from agriculture, finding sustainable solutions to this problem holds tremendous promise for enhancing inclusive economic growth, food security, and nutrition. Over the last decade, many actors have developed a set of innovative technologies to reduce post-harvest agricultural loss across the value chain – from the farm to the consumer.
A 36-month project to scale up the use of these technologies across Sub-Saharan Africa was launched today in Nairobi. Financed by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and implemented by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), the CAD 2.889 million (USD 2.155 million) project will support applied research to bring effective, field-tested innovations for reducing post-harvest loss of soybeans and cowpeas to thousands of smallholder farmers in Mozambique and Burkina Faso.
Speaking at the launch, Dr. Agnes Kalibata, President of AGRA said that the moment has come to roll out these technologies across the continent to ensure that smallholder farmers reap maximum benefit from their investment and hard labour.
“Scaling up of simple technologies like hermetic storage bags can reduce post-harvest losses by up to 50 per cent and significantly increase farmers’ income. The deployment of mechanized threshers will also reduce the drudgery of farming, which is especially important among women who are the majority of farmers in Africa”, added Dr. Kalibata.
With Burkina Faso and Mozambique as pilot countries, the project will help drive these known solutions to scale and could benefit millions of farmers. In the short term, the innovations have the ability to directly benefit the lives of at least 10,000 smallholder farmers and up to 60,000 by 2020 .
Dr. Simon Carter, Regional Director for Sub-Saharan Africa at IDRC, hailed the project as a partnership aimed at increasing food security and farmers’ incomes, and helping build a stronger agricultural sector in Africa. “Reducing post-harvest losses, increasing the quality of produce and improving farmers’ access to markets are key to sustaining the productivity driven transformation of the agricultural sector”, said Dr. Carter.
Reducing these losses is increasingly becoming important as the demand for food increases with population rise; as part of the push to strengthen farmers’ resilience in the face of a changing climate; and to take full advantage of the continent’s food demand, which the World Bank projects will triple from $313 million in 2010 to $1 trillion by 2030.
Soybean and cowpeas were selected for this project as they are a critical secondary food, providing essential affordable proteins as well as calories to the diets of the poor. The market opportunities for both crops are also growing, offering prospects to increase income for those farmers producing a marketable surplus.