CSA Youth Network

Working towards a resilient environment through climate-smart agriculture


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Celebrating FARA: Commemorating the 15th anniversary of our partner

By: Alejandra Soto (CSAYN Global Unit)

On November 26th the celebrations of the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) anniversary were inaugurated in Johannesburg, South Africa, and will continue till the 28th of this month. For this event many activities were prepared under the main theme “Delivering Africa’s Future Through Science-led Agricultural Transformation”, including the launching of the new Strategic Plan for the next five years. The founder of the CSA Youth Network and Liaison to YPARD, Ntiokam Divine is participating in these events, to present our work and the activities the youth is doing in regards to climate-smart agriculture.

CelebrateFARA_DP

This is a very special celebration because FARA is turning 15 years since its launch in 1999. Once the Special Program for African Agricultural Research, an initiative started by the World Bank according to the Forum’s website, FARA has served as a point of contact for many African organizations that work in Agriculture and Development. It is also very important to us, because the CSA Youth Network started with the support of FARA, and many of their members collaborate with us spreading the word among the young people on climate change and smart agriculture action.

During the first day a series of different panels were discussed, from climate change to agriculture and technology in Africa, including an event on youth and climate-smart agriculture where Ntiokam Divine presented our work along with Andrianjafy Rasoanindrainy. Also, among the speakers present today, were Dr. Yemi Akimbamijo, Executive Director of FARA, and Dr. Jimmy Smith, Director General of the International Livestock Research Institute.

Congratulations to FARA for their work and achievements in the last 15 years and for their efforts in enhancing African agriculture. We hope that in the future we continue collaborating for the African youth and for a sustainable environment.

During this week we will keep informing you about FARA’s celebration, so keep in touch to get the latest news.

For more information on Celebrating FARA please visit the event’s website: http://www.cvent.com/events/fara-celebration/event-summary-d6f2aa6a8f30480f89337e9cd1550251.aspx


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Case Study from the South-East region of Mauritius: Identification of CSA practices by students

By: Vagish Ramborun

During a site visit conducted in the coastal villages of Mauritius namely Petit-Sable and Grand- Sable in the Southeast region of Mauritius, some 25 young students from the University of Mauritius doing a degree Agriscience and Technology were exposed to several climate-smart practices that vegetable farmers have adopted as their farming strategies. Among them the students were able to recognize practices such as mulching, multi-cropping, algal compost, kitchen waste compost, fallowing and run off farming among many others. The young students also received part of the experience of a farmer who has over 30 years of experience in the fields.

(Credit: Vagish Ramborun)

(Credit: Vagish Ramborun)

One of the innovative methods adopted by local farmers was the use of old clothes as mulching. Use of clothes not only help to retain moisture in the soil but has also a very long life span and therefore can be used for a very long time. Being biodegradable they do not pose any danger to the environment.

Other local practices that were identified:

  • Fallowing
  • Green mulching
  • Multi-cropping
  • Intercropping
  • Use of leguminous crop

Vulnerability of the farmers to climate change

Though the farmers have adopted a lot of CSA practices, they are still very vulnerable to climate change. They heavily rely on underground water for irrigation purposes, but when the sea level rises during high tides, sea water gets in their wells that they have to dig plus the salinity of the water increases. Thus, the water becomes unsuitable for irrigation and hence the crops are heavily affected. However during heavy rainfall fresh water table rises and consequently the salinity of the underground water decreases and the farmers can use them again for irrigation. One observational practice that the farmers have adopted is the presence of tadpoles in the wells. According to them tadpoles disappear when the water becomes too saline and therefore when the tadpoles disappear they do not use the water for irrigation.

With the impact of climate change it is projected that the sea water level will rise and there will be fluctuations in the rainfall pattern. These occurrences can have a major impact on the livelihood of the farmers from that region. If sea water level rises saline water will penetrate more into the water table hence increasing the salinity of the water and coupled with reduction in rainfall, the farmers will no longer be able to sustain plant growth.

Credit: Vagish Ramborun

Credit: Vagish Ramborun