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FANRPAN hosts the South Africa Climate Smart Agriculture National Dialogue
11 August 2016. Johannesburg, South Africa
11 August 2016

On 11 August 2016, the South Africa Climate Smart Agriculture National Dialogue was held in Johannesburg. The dialogue, was organized by the South Africa FANRPAN Node Hosting Institution, the National Agricultural Marketing Council (NAMC), in partnership with the FANRPAN Regional Secretariat, the German Development Cooperation GIZ-funded SADC programme on climate change adaptation in agriculture, and the Centre for Coordination of Agricultural Research and Development for Southern Africa (CCARDESA). It brought together participants from governments, international organizations, private sector, investment groups, research institutions and civil society to share their experiences, expertise and to partner in efforts to ensure that farmers adopt practices that contribute to sustainable agriculture. The one day dialogue was honoured by the presence of participants from 13 SADC member states which include Madagascar, Botswana, Ghana, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, among others to share their experiences and lessons learnt on climate change and their adaptation strategies. The objective of the conference was to contribute to the adoption of climate resilient agriculture practices through information sharing on climate smart agriculture (CSA) best practices and discuss policies in place for climate smart agriculture in the SADC region.

The South African agricultural sector has experienced a range of vulnerabilities and high variability of climatic conditions across the country which affects the agricultural sector more especially smallholder farmers. Climate change has been regarded as a serious natural disaster that leads to food insecurity and poverty as a result of loss of crops and livestock. South Africa has experienced low level of rainfall since the beginning of 2015. Some provinces were declared disaster areas and a fund to help farmers to cope with drought was established. It is in this regard that the CSA National dialogue is relevant to equip and increase knowledge to farmers on how to minimise losses and improve their resilience to climate change through adaptation of climate smart agriculture (CSA).

The conference was officially opened by Mr. Bonani Nyhodo, Trade Research unit Manager at NAMC and Node Coordinator. Five key themes we discussed and they included (i) Climate smart agriculture practices; (ii) fighting Food Losses and Waste; (iii) Climate Change Effects on the SADC Region; (iv) Information translation and (v) science and innovation for agricultural development.

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