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AFRICANS DEMAND AGRICULTURE AS A PRIORITY IN DURBAN

Farmers in Africa have been hard hit by the impacts of climate change. Over the years we have experienced erratic weather patterns that have dwindled our harvest. This is frightening because for us, farming is a source of livelihood that has been passed down from generations. My great grandfather ploughed this same piece of land and taught his son (my grandfather)  how plough. Farming for our community represents more than just a source of economic livelihood. It contributes towards the social fabric of the community which we hold dear to our hearts. And yet, climate change threatens to strip us of several aspects of our livelihoods and plunge us back into poverty.

 

Climate change is threatening to pull us even deeper into the hand to mouth cycle. And yet developed countries are doing nothing to try and curb their good life let alone help us to also achieve some level of a good life and move out of poverty. This situation will also affect my neighbor whom farming is her sole source of livelihood. She too joined the Fairtrade movement and although the Fairtrade premium has built a school for our children, the market is not yet strong enough to provide what is needed to further our community development. This situation is not aided by the fact that frequent droughts and irregular rainfall patterns have insured that her harvest is halved. Climate change has already stripped a large part of her source of livelihood. And yet, like the rest of us, she has not received any assistance to adapt to its effects. All we have heard year after year is promises from global meetings, which never materialize.

 

Until when shall leaders continue to discuss and debate while we suffer? Till when shall developed countries continue to justify and attempt to evade their responsibility to help us adapt to a phenomenon which they caused? While developed countries fail to see the need for them to ensure Africans such as  are able to adapt to the effects of climate change, they are condemning us to death. We are already suffering enough! We do not need the threat of climate change to compound the situation.

 

I call upon world leaders, to look beyond their own selfish needs, their diplomatic standpoints, and consider me, the ordinary African. And consider the sea of extraordinary Africans making the best of situations and yet drowning in poverty. And last but not least, the children whom we have borne, some of whom do not have parents to fend for them. We need a a focus on agriculture in Durban as it forms a key source of livelihood for the majority of Africans.

 

AGRICULTURE IS WHAT WE KNOW, IT’S HOW WE SURVIVE.  WE AFRICANS NEED AGRICULTURAL SUPPORT IN THE FACE OF CLIMATE CHANGE!!!!!!

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