Nelly Bassily | August 31, 2009
Climate change is often spoken about on a global scale. But to see the impact of climate change on everyday life, one need look no further than average farmers. In this week’s news story, we see how farmers in eastern Kenya are re-thinking crop choices to cope with uncertain rain patterns. In a previous issue of FRW, we saw how farmers in Benin faced a similar challenge, as they can no longer predict the timing of dry and rainy seasons (http://weekly.farmradio.org/2008/06/30/benin-farmers-learn-to-work-with-an-uncertain-climate-farm-radio-weekly-international-development-research-centre/). In that same issue, we examined how livestock farmers in western Zimbabwe were coping with climatic changes which mean that they can no longer depend on rain-fed pastures (http://weekly.farmradio.org/2008/06/30/zimbabwe-livestock-farmers-adapt-to-new-climate-zimbabwe-standard/).
For more information and resources on coping the climate change, consider the following Farm Radio International scripts:
–Choosing crops for drought prone areas (Package 73, Script 3, January 2005)
–Supply water directly to plant roots with pitcher and drip irrigation (Package 71, Script 10, June 2004)
–Farmer Phiri uses infiltration pits to combat drought (Package 64, Script 6, July 2002)
–The role of native breeds in maintaining livestock health: Story ideas for the radio (Package 63, Script 3, April 2002)
–Dr. Compost talks about compost piles (Package 61, Script 6, October 2001)
–A farmer practices zero grazing (Package 51, Script 3, February 1999)
You may also consider producing a call-in and text-in show, or a locally researched news story, on one or both of the following topics:
1) Local climate change observations:
-What differences in seasonal temperature and rainfall patterns have people observed?
-Have floods and/or droughts been more frequent in the last 20-30 years than in previous decades?
-What differences in soil properties have been seen in recent decades?
-What changes in vegetation, including crops, pasture, and wild plants?
2) Local adaptation techniques:
-What crops have farmers struggled with, and which have proven well suited to these new conditions?
-What sorts of feeding and care techniques have livestock farmers used to cope with new conditions?
-What steps have farmers used to prevent flooding and make the best use of available water?
-What other steps have farmers taken to maintain food security when facing severe drought or floods?