By Jonas Miselo
A senior extension methodologist at the Ministry of Agriculture in Luapula Province, Hobab Mumbi has emphasized the significance of climate-smart agriculture techniques in helping farmers adapt to ever-changing weather patterns.
Inan exclusive interview with NAIS, Mr. Mumbi shed light on the prevailing weather conditions in Luapula Province, characterized by the onset of rains.
He stressed that this climatic factor is important for the successful planting and growth of crops. However, he also highlighted the potential challenges posed by delayed or erratic rains, which can result in planting difficulties and, ultimately, reduced crop yields.
Among the key challenges faced by farmers due to weather conditions, Mr. Mumbi identified droughts, floods, and unpredictable weather patterns. To counter these challenges, he recommended a set of adaptive strategies for farmers.
“To adapt, farmers can use drought-resistant crop varieties, improve irrigation methods, and diversify their crops to be less reliant on a single type,” he said.
On climate-smart agriculture techniques, Mr. Mumbi explained that these practicesinvolve sustainable approaches that take climate change into account. Suchtechniques encompass strategies like crop rotation, agroforestry, and water management methods, which aid farmers in adapting to shifting weather patterns and improving overall crop yields.
Furthermore. Mumbi clarified on specific practices and strategies that farmers canimplement under the umbrella of climate-smart agriculture.
“These include the adoption of rainwater harvesting, soil conservation, and integratedpest management, all of which can effectively mitigate the adverse effects ofunpredictable weather on their crops.”
Addressing the TRALARD Project's recent achievement in training 1,300 farmers inChifunabuli district, Mr. Mumbi underscored the training program's primaryfocus on improving agricultural practices, imparting climate resilience knowledge, and enhancing overall productivity. He stressed that such trainingis not only beneficial but also critical for ensuring food security andimproving the livelihoods of local communities.
Interms of future collaboration with the Ministry, Mr. Mumbi recommended a closer partnership between the TRALARD Project and the Ministry of Agriculture.
“This entails sharing data, insights, and effective coordination to align with government policies and initiatives related to agriculture and climate resilience,” he stated.
Additionally, Mr. Mumbi delved into ways in which the TRALARD Project can collaborate with local farmers and communities to guarantee the successful implementation of climate-smart agriculture techniques. He advocated for the active involvement of local communities in the planning and decision-making process, provision of training and essential resources, and the facilitation of knowledge sharing among the local population.
Inconclusion, Mr. Mumbi reiterated the pivotal role of climate-smart agriculture techniques in assisting farmers in adapting to the shifting weather patterns.He emphasized the necessity of collaboration between organizations like TRALARDand local communities to ensure the realization of a resilient and food-securefuture.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) climate-smart agriculture (CSA)is defined as an approach that helps guide actions to transform agriculture andfood systems towards green and climate-resilient practices.
CSA supports reaching internationally agreed goals such as the SDGs and the Paris Agreement. It aims to tackle three main objectives: sustainably increasing agricultural productivity and incomes; adapting and building resilience to climate change; and reducing and / or removing greenhouse gas emissions, where possible.