Farmers in South Africa are in Panic following Climate Change. Here’s why

There’s a theory that prices and yields of crops in the agricultural industry varies depending on the climate change of their locals. It also varies according to the demand and supplies both locally and international markets. Due to this reason, farmers can have a good understanding that not all years will favor them in terms of profitability. However, during the long rains, there are sure they will be okay, and the great harvesting years will outnumber the bad years. This is what is happening with Farmers in South Africa.

That said, the question that poses is if the risk and climate variability are changing? The answer to this question, of course, it’s a yes. With scientifically proven evidence, it has shown that over the decade has become more robust points towards the reality of this fact. Therefore, what is changing, and how can it go about it? Climate resilience and climate risks should be considered. Resistance needs to be built via responses that have been measured and are effective if climate risk seems to be increasing.

Effect of temperature increase

An increase in temperature is one of the most important risks that is happening as a result of climate change. It affects the seasonal patterns and rainfall on a global scale. It further affects the phenological of plants growing as well as their physical growth. A good number of farmers in South Africa who rear animals are also not left out as their growth is also affected, as well as exposing them to pests and disease. Hence, contributing directly to yields.

The rate of temperature increase is moving faster in southern Africa than the average worldwide. Over the past 100 years, the region has seen a rise of up to 1degree Celsius. It might not sound like it is a significant increase, but it’s an annual cycle that has been averaged. Some of the individual stations had recorded a daily temperature of 3-4 degrees Celsius since the recording started in the mid-20th century.

Changing patterns for the rain seasons

Rainfall patterns on the hand are quite hard to do their analysis since the trends are usually or rather don’t have any significance statistically. The average rain may not change, but long dry spells occur. As such, the higher temperatures have caused an increase of evaporation hence reducing the availability of water. The future prediction indicates that there will be a temperature increase ranging between 2 and 5degree Celsius.

This, however, results from the pathway of future carbon emission. However, the real reduction of the carbon emissions rate of increase will still occur in the future; hence, giving expectations of the worst happening in a short to medium term. The projections of the rainfall are quite uncertain. They, however, tend to show that regions like tropical and sub-tropical may get more rain while Mediterranean areas are becoming drier.

Mitigation proposals

That stated, it clear that the agricultural industry will suffer significantly, therefore, affecting the food supplies. So, what is the solution? The available proposals that can be work towards curbing this need a concerted effort from the government, financial institutions as well as Agribusiness. The plan includes reviewing the cropping systems that are already in existence. This will enable us to assess the viability, giving intensive training with better strategies as well as the adoption of better sustainable methods to save the farmers in South Africa.

The Impact of this Climate Change to South Africa

The crops can be damaged if the temperature increase is extremely hot. Another enormous impact is brought by the change of rainfall seasons hence shifting the rainy seasons, and at the end, interfering with the planting seasons together with the crop management. Many countries with large quantities of subsistence agricultural base are faced with food shortage in case the crop fails. However, wide-ranging in the reduction of crop yield may not affect the countries which can do the grains imports.

Maize, wheat, fresh fruits, and wine as the main agricultural products for South Africa, the temperature increase poses a significant threat. The increasing levels of carbon can favor the crop growth level. However, the yields will decrease under such extreme conditions.

Report by world food program indicates that food production is on average per hectare. This shows that food production might not be able to meet world demand soon. As a result of this, many will face food shortages. Therefore, to attain food security, food production per hectare has to increase. This is to mean, increase in productivity, a decrease of post-harvest losses, and finally having an adequate market for the buyers and sellers.

The Dual Agricultural Nature in South Africa

The dual agriculture economy consists of a smallholder such as subsistence, farming, and a commercial sector. Forty thousand commercial farms occupy about 87% of the agricultural land in South Africa. In contrast, the smallholders hold the remaining 13%. The common challenge that the two faces are lacking access to finance, land governance challenges in communal areas. Also, water access, effective service extension, and even poor infrastructure.

What can increase food productivity, South Africa?

Reassessing of marginal crops.Selection of the correct seed cultivars for the predicted climate condition.Trying to diversify, growing different crops. For example, Agro-tourism.Use of conversation agriculture strategies.Finding measures that would help to prevent post-harvest losses.Through liaising with academics, other farmers, and agricultural organizations. This will aim at keeping the latest developments in the farming industry.

 South Africa government and other stakeholders in the Agriculture industry, together with the meteorological departments, try to work together. This will to ensure the farmers in South Africa get the right information about the changing climatic conditions on time. Therefore, the farmers can make the right decisions on what to plant in a certain period. This will go along way in ensuring there’s food security both for local and international suppliers.

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