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Climate change a threat to agriculture development – Lubunda

AGRICULTURE and Livestock minister Given Lubinda says changing climate is a threat to the agriculture sector and general household livelihood. AGRICULTURE and Livestock minister Given Lubinda says changing climate is a threat to the agriculture sector and general household livelihood.

Mr. Lubinda said this in a speech read on his behalf by Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock permanent secretary David Shamulenge during the official opening of a three day Climate Smart Agriculture Regional Policy Dialogue at Intercontinental Hotel to discuss adaptation and mitigation strategy to a changing climate.

Mr. Lubinda said climate smart-agriculture is a pathway towards national development and food and nutrition security built on three pillars.

“These three pillars are increasing productivity and income, enhancing resilience of livelihoods and ecosystems, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere,” he said.

Mr. Lubinda further said with the changing climate, climate-smart farming practices need to respond to different local conditions, geography, weather and the natural resource base.
He also noted that farmers would continue experiencing diminishing returns on their investments without climate smart agriculture.

"Sadly, they will have to sell off their meagre physical assets that they own; and as such, they will ultimately fail to feed their families,” Mr. Lubinda sympathized with the farmers.

Mr. Lubinda elaborated that Africa needed knowledge, technological innovation, responsive action and strategic partnerships in order for the continent to achieve its adaptation to climate change and variability.

"We need to develop networks and platforms where farmers, policy makers, researchers, the private sector, extension workers and civil society organizations are linked together in joint learning and knowledge exchange,” he explained.

Meanwhile, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) board chairman, Argent Chuulu has charged that climate change has never been more urgent in Africa than it is today.

Mr. Chuulu said “the dialogue could not be timelier as it is taking place three months before the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Paris, France in December 2015.

"I am excited, because as Africa we have a chance to seize the moment to demand a strong agreement at COP21 that will ensure that the deal that comes out of Paris is a deal that works for our farmers and rewards their efforts,” he added.

He further said the dialogue offered Africa and climate smart agriculture stakeholders and champions a unique opportunity to concretise a unified African position on agriculture ahead of the COP 21.

The dialogue which started on 26th August will come to an end today – 28th August 2015.

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