This year is the International Year of Deserts and Desertification! Many organizations and communities all across Africa are mobilizing to prevent or reverse the impact of land degradation which is contributing to desertification.
The United Nations (UN) has designated 2006 as the Year of Desertification, marking ten years since the UN Convention to Combat Desertification came into force.
Poverty is a main contributor to environmental degradation. Two-thirds of African lands are vulnerable to desertification and over 70% of African agricultural drylands are already degraded, making Africa the continent most severely affected by desertification.
Through years of practiced observation farmers have developed traditional ways to forecast environmental changes. By using indicators such as the flowering time of certain trees, the direction and speed of the winds, and even insect behaviour, farmers monitor and predict changes in their surroundings. These types of ‘grassroots indicators’ are often an informal early warning system for drought and desertification.
Agroforestry is the system of growing trees in combination with other farm enterprises such as crops and livestock. Trees provide farmers with many products and services that can bring much needed income to rural families and ensure food and nutritional security especially in drought periods.
The impact of HIV and AIDS on food production and rural households in sub-Saharan Africa is undeniable. AIDS generally hits people in their most productive years, between the ages of 15 and 49. People become too sick to farm and feed themselves and their families. Significant losses in food production also result from deaths in families, and time taken to attend funerals and other mourning rituals.
Farm Radio International is a Canadian-based, not-for-profit organization working in direct partnership with approximately 600 radio broadcasters in 38 African countries to fight poverty and food insecurity.
Farm Radio International is a Canadian not-for-profit organization that works in direct partnership with more than 500 radio partners across 38 African countries to fight poverty and food insecurity. Our materials are also available electronically to broadcasters and to rural development organizations in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
Charitable Registration Number (BN) 11888 4808 RR0001