Sunday, October 19, 2014

Farmers Experiment with Old and New to Adapt to Climate Change

A boy carries a basket of corn as he walks over corn kept for drying, outside a mosque, at Mathwar village, 36 km (22 miles) northwest of Jammu, India, Nov. 8, 2012.  (Credit: Reuters/Mukesh Gupta) Click to enlarge.
Charles Ogang, president of the Ugandan National Farmers' Federation, has used local churches to help educate small-scale growers about the risks of climate change.

"Climate change has had severe effects on our production," Ogang said.  "Over 80 percent of Uganda's farmers are smallholders, with limited information on the best practices on agriculture."

To get farmers the facts they need to respond to global warming, Ogang helped create demonstration gardens where growers can learn firsthand about new techniques, crop rotation and composting.

Gordon Bacon, chief executive of Pulse Canada, an industry group, agreed that crop rotation is crucial for adaptation.

"We used to grow just wheat at my farm.  Now you are seeing farmers grow oil seeds, pulses and wheat - some of those crops are more drought-tolerant," Bacon said.  "We can’t stop change, we have to adapt to it."

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