Climate Change: Lack of malnutrition policy interventions makes 42 million Africa children suffer

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By: Joy Odor/Kaduna

High temperatures and changes in rainfall patterns is said to be likely reduce cereal crop productivity due to climate change in African countries while high-value recurrent crops will also be negatively impacted by rising temperatures.

Africa is one of the continents that is most highly affected by climate change for two reasons, its geographical characteristics of having a majority of land lying across the warming tropics, and the limited human, social and economic capacity that African countries have to adapt to the impacts of climate change.

Climate change will probably increase the risk of food insecurity for some vulnerable groups, such as the poor.

This is because agriculture contributes to climate change by anthropocentric emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs), and by the conversion of non-agricultural land.

Agriculture, forestry and land-use change contributed around 20 to 25% to global annual emissions

Despite technological advances, such as improved varieties, genetically modified organisms, and irrigation systems, weather is still a key factor in agricultural productivity, as well as soil properties and natural communities.

It is said that pressures from pests, weeds, and diseases are also expected to increase, with detrimental effects on crops and livestock.

The effect of climate on agriculture is related to variability’s in local climates rather than in global climate patterns.

Some of the changes to be expected if global temperatures rise include “heat extremes would occur more often by the 2030s, when temperatures could be 1.5°C, sea-level would rise to 50 cm by 2060, threatening important seaports and in the entire African region, “farmers would see lower crop yields.

“Farmers would also lose arable land as global average temperatures increase 1.5°C to 2°C by 2040, drought and aridity would contribute to African farmers’ losing 40 to 80% of their croplands used to grow maize, millet and sorghum.

“Malnutrition would also increase, to this end, without climate change and other policy interventions, the number of malnourished children in Africa will likely increase from 33 million to 42 million which could mean a further 10 million children suffer from malnutrition.

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