Malawi urged to hedge against drought

Post was last updated: June 2, 2018

Malawi and other African countries have been urged to embrace water harvesting techniques to hedge against drought, which reduces crop production.

Kenya Water and Sanitation Civil Society Network Chief Executive Officer, Shivaji Malesi, said this in Zanzibar, Tanzania, during a media training workshop for 35 African journalists on climate change and its opportunities.

“Such a reduction in agricultural production has a significant impact on 90 percent of the country’s population, which depends on rain-fed subsistence agriculture,” Malesi said.

He said there is need to build resilience to future shocks through risk reduction and management measures where agriculture is a source of livelihoods and a key driver of the economy.

“With agriculture as the driver of the economy, Malawi should encourage farmers to grow drought-resilient varieties,” Malesi said.

Analysts have warned that adverse weather conditions will affect growth of agro-based economies in Africa if regional trade blocs do not work together in providing collective solutions.

A sharp drop in crop production in Malawi between 2014 and 2015 forced President Peter Mutharika to declare a state of disaster, paving the way for donors and other well-wishers to provide financial and material support to vulnerable communities.

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