Over 2.5 billion people (nearly one in three of the world’s population) derive their livelihoods from agricultural resources. As many as 720 million people directly depend on agriculture for their survival. A further 200 million people and their families depend on fishing and aquaculture (FAO). Climate change threatens their ability to grow food, feed their families and make a living.
Climate change is shifting climatic zones. Soil conditions are deteriorating in many areas. Rainfall timing and intensity is becoming more variable. Sources of water are becoming less reliable. Cropping patterns are changing. New patterns of pests and disease will emerge. Fishing and aquaculture are threatened.
CWS partners from all regions say that traditional farming knowledge can no longer be relied on. Farmers don’t know when to plant. People who for centuries have been able to adapt to normal climatic variations are at a loss as to what to do. The loss of such knowledge and resilience results is increasing food insecurity and poverty.
“CEPAD is very concerned about climate change as now rains fall very heavily washing the soil away and causing landslides. The farming season traditionally runs from May to November but now the rains are falling very irregularly and the farmers hesitate to plant.”
Damaris Albuquerque,director, Council of Protestant Churches in Nicaragua CEPAD (CWS partner in Nicargua)
“Methods of farming in Sri Lanka are based around the rains. But now weather patterns are changing and this is confusing the whole system.”
Sarath Fernando,director Movement for land and agriculture reform Monlar (CWS partner in Sri Lanka)