How to develop climate-friendly agriculture in Africa? In order to find out, nearly 9 000 small farmers in Kenya and Tanzania tested joint growing of trees and food plants, new forage plants for cows and cultivation methods protecting soil and water between 2010 and 2016. A small number of Kenyan milk producers installed a small biogas plant to produce gas from waste for household use. In Tanzania, hundreds of households started using firewood-saving stoves.
A research project funded by Finland and managed by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations FAO provided more information on how small farmers could reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions during 2012–2015. At the same time efforts are made to increase food production and improve its’ climate sustainability. The problems connected with the change were also reviewed. Introduction of the new methods was slowed down by problems concerning access to information, funding and land ownership. Many of the methods also required more workforce and acquiring it was difficult, especially for women. The lessons learned will help in the development and introduction of sustainable agriculture preventing climate change. The information collected in the study was also made available to international climate negotiators.
Photo: FAO, graphics: Juho Hiilivirta