350,000 euros to improve climate resilience in Malawi
Malawi is often affected by extreme weather conditions which have disastrous effects on its agriculture. For this reason, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) wants to take preventive measures to protect Malawian agriculture. This with the support of Belgium.
Importance and vulnerability of agriculture
Malawi has been confronted multiple times with ‘El Niño’. This natural phenomenon heats up the Pacific Ocean, thus causing extreme weather conditions. In the last few years El Niño has heavily affected the agricultural sector. Prolonged drought has seriously decreased production. The loss is detrimental, as agriculture remains Malawi’s mainstay, being a major source of revenues for its rural population with the sector contributing to about one third of its GDP. Further deterioration of land and crops would have dramatic consequences on the inhabitants of Malawi.
Inform to better prevent
In order to increase the Malawian farmer’s resilience, the FAO has set up a prevention program, to which Belgium will contribute 350,000 euros. 22,000 people located in 8 out of 12 identified at-risk districts will be assisted. The goal: halting the loss of crops and cattle by increasing the access to water and other agricultural resources.
The FAO will distribute early maturing and drought-tolerant crop seeds, test livestock for diseases and vaccinate them when necessary, and provide the necessary equipment for micro-irrigation. On top of that, the local farmers will be taught how to prevent agricultural losses. They will also receive training on how to work the soil in an efficient way. Thus they will be able to take measures into their own hand when El Niño strikes again.
In this way the FAO wants to maintain a stable agricultural production, even in times of unstable weather conditions.