- Burkina Faso farmers are devising strategies to adjust to the changing weather patterns following a disappointment from the Copenhagen to help poor nations minimises the effects of global change in developing nations.
The country is re-introducing the traditional soil protection techniques which include digging pits - compost-filled planting pits which hold water, helping deep-rooted vegetables grow; building up grass and rock barriers around crops to protect them from soil erosion; and cultivating manure in septic tanks to use as fertilizer.
Burkinabe farmers said the annual support amounting to $10 billion pledge by developed world to held poor farmers was insufficient, saying the effects of climate change are more severe.
In recent years the rains have begun and ended later than usual in Burkina Faso, continuing into October though September is traditionally harvest time, with the rains also increasingly heavy, leading to soil erosion and flash floods.
Desertification, long a problem in the north, has reportedly spread to the southern part of the country.
Agriculture officials said farmers risk having their crops rotting in the fields due to heavy rains and flooding, stating that over 40 percent of the cowpea crop and much of the sorghum harvest rot in the fields.
Through its National Action Adaptation to Climate Change programme, the government has channelled $3 million to help people adapt in the farming, livestock, forestry and water resource sectors.
The World Bank’s agricultural production and food security support to Burkina Faso is estimated at $54.5 million from 2010-2015. Last year the Bank spent $5 million on distributing quick-harvest sorghum, maize and cowpea seeds.
New varieties of cowpeas can be harvested in 45 days, down from 80, according to agricultural experts; sorghum and maize down to three months from four or five.
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