News / Africa

WFP Helps Subsistence Farmers to Increase Crop Yields

A Nigerien boy looking at the Niger River near Zinder (Aug 2010 file photo)
A Nigerien boy looking at the Niger River near Zinder (Aug 2010 file photo)
TEXT SIZE - +
Lisa Schlein

The World Food Program is teaming up with FAO, The European Union, the Gates Foundation and other agencies to help subsistence farmers increase their crop yields. WFP says 2010 has been a year with many climate-related emergencies, which have created havoc with the agricultural production of many developing countries.

Some of the most dramatic climate-related emergencies in the past year include flooding in Pakistan, Burma and Burkina Faso, and the Sahel drought, which has affected the African nations of Niger, Chad and Mali among others. Haiti was devastated by hurricanes.

World Food Program spokeswoman Emilia Casella says the number of people affected by climate-related disasters is expected to reach about 375 million a year by 2015.

"But, if you look even further a-field or further in the future, we are estimating that by 2020 some countries having their agricultural yields halved by weather climate emergencies--drought or flood," Casella said. "And, if you look even farther in the future 2050, we are looking at 10 to 20 percent more people hungry due to climate emergencies."  

Casella says by 2050, there is likely to be 24 million more malnourished children as a result of erratic weather. And almost half of this increase, she says, is projected to be in sub-Saharan Africa.

The World Food Program is working with the World Meteorological Organization and the United Kingdom Meteorological Office to collect data that could help prevent or prepare farmers for weather emergencies.

For example, Casella says a detailed food insecurity analysis could pinpoint areas that are most at risk, where climate emergencies would overlap with food emergencies.

She says WFP is also working with the Food and Agriculture Organization to help small subsistence farmers, who are most vulnerable to extreme weather events, increase their food yields.

"The vast majority of these small farmers are women, to help them to increase the yields for their families and have more yields so they can sell more in the market," she added. "It is also working with small farmer organizations to help them to better market their products. It is doing things such as even building roads or transport systems so that farmers in far-away places that do not have access to markets, can reach markets."  

Casella says WFP is also working with the World Meteorological Organization on weather risk insurance. She says this would provide small farmers with a payout if their crops fail due to weather emergencies.

She says weather risk insurance is much more effective than giving people food after emergencies. If people could receive insurance against the loss of their crops, she explains, they could feed their families or prepare for next year's planting season.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid