Prevalence of Climate Change in East Africa Affecting Smallholder Agriculture in Rwanda
The smallholders’ agriculture in Rwanda, in turn, plays a vital role in the development of the country. 85% of the Rwandan population is engaged in small-scale agriculture. However, research has shown that despite their sincere efforts to expand their profession, climate change is still a significant obstacle to smallholder agriculture living in rural areas. Climate is one of the primary sources of Rwanda’s economy and public health. By the end of the last year 2019, Rwanda had experienced unpredictable heavy rains that have damaged many things, including plants and human life. This has also caused smallholder farmers to be more concerned about the decline in production even though it has not caused much crop disruption.
According to the definition of climate change, climate change is one of the most destructive environmental factors at the highest level, which is also most affected by the global economy and the world at large. Climate change means any change in climate strategy over a long period. Climate change is characterized by extreme heat, heavy rainfall, or total loss, heavy winds from all over corners of the world. As a developing country, climate change has a significant impact, especially for smallholder farmers in rural areas from Rwanda. Low technological capacity is another obstacle that prevents smallholder farmers in Rwanda from tackling climate change. In general, climate variation is one of the causes of severe water shortages, declining food production at a high level, and thus disrupting the country’s economic development. In Eastern African countries like other developing nations, climate repercussions are reflecting through the economy, from advancing water availability to sea-level rise and extreme weather influences to coastal areas and tourism. Wwf.or.jp,2006.
As a result, Rwanda is among the countries that need to come up with new approaches to increase smallholder agricultural productivity, in order to continue to promote the management of the environment and the use of the country’s natural resources. As God puts it together, it has become everyone’s responsibility to promote food security, either locally or in the neighborhood, so that farmers can have a healthier life.
Climate change as a big challenge to smallholder agriculture.
Rwanda is a landlocked country with relatively low rainfall over the past few years. Only now does it seem that the climate has changed compared to the recent rains and extreme heat exchanges, indicating that there have been significant changes in the sky of Rwanda and these determine how it is the negative impact on human health as well as smallholder farmers who are and the environment in general. Rwanda is in a state of emergency due to climate change and may even have an impact on food security. In some parts of the country’s surface, rivers and lakes are prone to climate change, which can have serious consequences such as declining water levels or lakes, deforestation, drought, and severe losses to vulnerable farmers. Ees.kuleuven.be, (2015)
Additional, small-scale farmers are the first to be affected by climate change. According to a study conducted by regional agriculture officials, farmers need more help and support to help them cope with climate change now and in the future. This is because the climate is the only way to help farmers achieve good or bad results due to its changes, and it is also the basis of the Rwandan economy and social welfare. Cultivation is a principal part of Rwanda’s economy. As of 2013, agriculture accounted for 33% of GDP, and nearly 90% of the country’s total population engaged in agriculture. Almost all of the country’s agricultural activities are based on climate change, so in the event of a catastrophic change, the farmers themselves and their productivity will be reduced, thus slowing down the country’s development.
Impact of climate change in agriculture production.
At present, small-scale agricultural producers often face obstacles to climate change. What’s more, due to the yield they get, it’s not at all easy to start and implement modern farming techniques so that they can make a lot of money. Lack of knowledge and technology to determine climate before crop planting, lead low yields, and high losses to the smallholder farmers. And never think about shifting to modern professional agriculture. fao.org, (2007)
However, even though many are underrepresented, research has shown that climate change also plays a significant role in disrupting agricultural productivity in markets, declining public food consumption, and adversely affecting human health in general, as well as the deterioration of certain foods. The rise in global warming is leading to a dramatic increase in the number of people living in smallholder farms in Rwanda. For example, when farmers cultivate crops and think that the rain is about to fall, they lose their crops due to the inability to irrigate their crops. Rwanda is said to have more than a thousand hills, and 95% of them do small-scale farming on that land that is very difficult to use for agricultural machinery unescap.org, (2007).
Thus, during the rainy season, when there is an excessive amount of rainfall, the farmers are mild because they cannot withstand the heavy rains caused by heavy rains, which causes their crops to be damaged and suffer severe losses. All of this shows that climate change is a significant challenge for small-scale agricultural professionals, and even has a significant impact on agricultural productivity.
However, even though many are underrepresented, research has shown that climate change also plays a significant role in disrupting agricultural productivity in markets, declining public food consumption, and adversely affecting human health in general, as well as the deterioration of certain foods. The rise in global warming is leading to a dramatic increase in the number of people living in smallholder farms in Rwanda. For example, when farmers cultivate crops and think that the rain is about to fall, they lose their crops due to the inability to irrigate their crops. Rwanda is said to have more than a thousand hills, and 95% of them do small-scale farming on that land that is very difficult to use for agricultural machinery. Thus, during the rainy season, when there is an excessive amount of rainfall, the farmers are mild because they cannot withstand the heavy rains caused by heavy rains, which causes their crops to be damaged and suffer severe losses. All of this shows that climate change is a significant challenge for small-scale agricultural professionals, and even has a significant impact on agricultural productivity.
Rwanda’s youngest farmers face a variety of challenges that hamper their work and ability to contribute to food security and the development of their country compared to large-scale farmers. Some of the challenges they face include climate change, land scarcity due to population growth, inadequate infrastructure, and other internal agricultural issues. Many of these small-scale farmers in our rural areas in Rwanda do not have access to public infrastructure and other assistance in terms of their profession, which is why they are unable to increase productivity, and thus their development is delayed. Although lack of adequate roads and other support for professional farmers is less than in developed countries and reduces the capacity of farmers to transport goods to markets, however, a significant role in delaying production from microfinance is due to climate change.
This is everyone’s struggle to strive for a better life that is complemented by better management of our climate. Strategies to take good care of our climate, are the best way to protect smallholder farmers and help them improve their productivity so that they can have a healthier life. There is still a need to understand better everyone’s role in maintaining Rwanda’s sovereignty. It is everyone’s responsibility to develop their origins and to work with others to resolve what is going wrong. Smallholder farmers in Rwanda should feel that they need to have enough information about climate change, thereby helping them to identify and select crops that are up to date. This will protect them from expected losses as a result of climate change.
However, while climate change has a significant impact on small-scale agriculture, it is often the cause of these changes that are part of human activity. Therefore, it is important to maintain the integrity of Rwanda’s ecosystem and to protect smallholder farmers, and to ensure the proper use of water and rivers close to the site. Farmers also need to be trained on how to water the seedlings, especially during the drought. In order to reduce industrial emissions, in vehicles, or in other human activities, the government, in collaboration with the community, should have taken concrete measures to protect the air and thus prevent professional farmers from losing their lives during climate change. For example, professional farmers in the state of California spend about $ 1.5 billion on irrigating their crops and planting them on desert-like soil. Brie Mazurek (2018)
Moreover, since the 20th century, farmers, whether small or medium, have begun to adopt industrial fertilizers rather than using organic manure to increase productivity. However, it has been shown that organic fertilizers help the soil to thrive better than industrial fertilizers. Original agriculture should have high yields if it is done in how it ought to be whereas industrial fertilizers are better to increase production but harmful to the soil minerals which result in the soil to evaporate and no longer produce as usual. Manual from plants and animals are the main sources of nutrients to help the soil grow better and produce impeccable yields. This also greatly reduces some of the fumes that are emitted by non-fuel oil or other petroleum products such as air pollutants.
Land management strategies are essential. Environmental protection principles and regulations must also be complied with. Citizens who work with government agencies should see that deforestation on steep slopes, such as in the mountains, on the banks of large and small rivers, is important in preventing climate change and improving public health.
This, too, when done well offers many benefits, such as providing biodiversity, cultivating farms, and attracting good insects for infection and pest control. In addition, it protects the soil from being flooded in the event of fluctuations in the rainfall or extreme sun. The air, trees, bushes, and other tree plants also store carbon in biomass, protect the soil from erosion, and conserve water.
- Climate Change: Basic Information | Climate Change | US EPA. (2017). https://19january2017snapshot.epa.gov/climatechange/climate-change-basic-information_.html
- Brie Mazurek, CUESA Staff, 2018, Ways Farmers Can Fight Climate Change
- Ees.kuleuven.be. 2015. https://ees.kuleuven.be/klimos/toolkit/documents/687_CC_rwanda.pdf
- The Effects of Climate Change on Agriculture. (2020). https://www.researchgate.net/publication/261063992_The_Effects_of_Climate_Change_on_Agriculture