This edition’s story from Burkina Faso mentions several traditional techniques for rebuilding degraded soils: zai pits, stone lines, and half-moon ditches.
Our two Scripts of the week discuss all three of these practices as examples of integrated soil fertility management, or ISFM, one of the most recommended practices for farmers in both Burkina Faso and Niger to adapt to climate change.
Adapting to climate change is a major challenge for African nations, including Burkina Faso and Niger. Like other countries, both are developing and implementing plans for adapting to the changing climate. But in order to develop effective adaptation policies, the countries need better information on how its climate will change and the risks that presents. Currently, there is little guidance on what practices farmers can use to best adapt to the climate changes they will experience.
To help address these gaps, a German organization called the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research conducted a thorough scientific assessment of how the Burkina Faso and Nigerien climates are likely to change over the next several decades. Their assessment generated information on how the climate might change and the impacts of those changes on farmers.
As well as studying how the climate is expected to change, they also studied what farming practices can offer farmers the best potential to adapt to future changes in the climate.
This script is a fictionalized conversation between two radio hosts. The hosts introduce the study from the Potsdam Institute. One host asks what the study discovered, and the other host responds. The two hosts discuss what the scientific study predicts about how the climates in both countries will change. Then they describe the four kinds of farming practices with the best potential to help farmers in both countries adapt to the changing climate.
You could use these scripts as a foundation for creating your own program on climate change and how farmers in your area can best adapt to it. Here are some ways to share this information so that your listeners can understand and act on the information they hear:
- You could invite a climate and / or agricultural scientist to discuss the study’s predictions about climate change and what impacts they will have on farmers.
- You could invite an agricultural expert to explain one or more of the practices recommended by the scientific study, explain why it has so much potential, and then answer questions on how farmers can best implement the practices, including addressing any challenges to doing so.
- You and your co-host could present the script as written, particularly if you are from Burkina Faso or Niger.