This week’s Farmer story from Togo is about ensuring that market gardeners have enough water to make a living. Water is indispensable for farming. Our Script of the week highlights practices that farmers in dry areas can use to ensure that they have enough water for their crops.
It is undeniable that water is essential to life on Earth. Without water, nothing can survive. As rainfall decreases, desertification spreads.
Much of Africa is facing uncertain times; the changing climate means that rainfall patterns are becoming more unpredictable. Rainy seasons are becoming shorter and often more intense; heavy rains can damage houses and crops, and then several days can pass before the next rain shower passes through. Drought is becoming more common, and crops and animals are increasingly water-stressed.
Farmers need to plan ahead. Before rain falls, farmers should consider how best to use the water that falls on their land. When farmers have systems that efficiently collect and use rainfall, it can mean the difference between good harvests and food insecurity.
This script is based on interviews with farmers and other agricultural experts in Tanzania. It offers advice on how best to plan water-efficient gardens and farming systems.
If you choose to use this script as inspiration for creating your own program, you could talk to farmers who use water-efficient gardening in your area, and the experts who advise them.
You might ask them:
Have rainfall patterns changed in recent years? If so, how?
Have changing rainfall patterns affected their farming practices?
Do farmers collect rainwater? What methods do they use?
How do farmers ensure that they use water efficiently?
How can farmers find the materials they need to collect water when it rains?