African Farmers Adjust to Climate Change

Farmers in the Ivory Coast are learning to gauge weather patterns and monitor new climatic data in order to maximize harvests and avoid devastating production losses.

The past year and a half has seen a string of extreme weather in the United States. From floods, to tornadoes, to ongoing droughts, farmers in all regions of the country have had to adapt and endure in order to continue growing a crop.

While changing weather patterns have hit American farmers hard, they are expected to hit African farmers even harder. Already facing an unforgiving climate in many places, African farmers could be further undermined by longer dry periods and increased drought frequency.

In order to better prepare farmers for upcoming bouts of tough weather, Ivory Coast agricultural groups are training farmers on how to maximize their production by matching planting times with weather patterns. “The weather data are essential in decision making and the trainings aim to boost the productivity of our agriculture,” the head of the National Meteorological Service said in an agricultural conference last week.

Many farmers find it particularly difficult to adjust to new weather patterns. According to one Ivorian agrometeorologist, “The periods and length of the rain and dry seasons tend to change from what we used to know. Farmers have lost their reference points and it affects their productivity and output.” Expanding farmers’ access to weather data will allow them to make more informed planting decisions.

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer