There are positive signs that governments are acting to support farmers in Africa who are struggling from the effects of the climate crisis. Gaspard told us:
“Our government is doing a lot to help us to overcome the climate change crisis. For example, today in our villages there are promoters trained by the government to help farmers to form groups where they can be trained on the best agriculture practices.”
We ask the farmers we work with what they believe needs to be done.
These are the views of Gaspard Nzabamwita, who lives with his family in the Bugesera district of eastern Rwanda:
“I ask our government to continue having more partners and stakeholders in climate-resilient that could continue helping farmers to fight climate change challenges by having different knowledge and means to use in this process.”
Send a Cow's work empowers families with the confidence and skills to grow sufficient food to feed their families and make an extra income. The techniques used are also climate-positive and help regenerate the natural environment. Within our planting programmes we include trees, shrubs and grasses, which, as well as improving soil quality, also have a net impact on removing greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere.
We help develop techniques within communities rather than impose a solution from an outsider's perspective. All our solutions are African-designed to enable farmers to grow enough to eat and generate an income. Rediscovering local skills and building new techniques which respond to new circumstances help farmers to combat the effects of falling crop yields, soil degradation and devastating pests, so they can do more than survive on the front line of the crisis. This work enables them to thrive: by building up their financial stability and giving them the opportunity to plan for better lives for their children.
These are some of the principles of our work that support families living on the front line of climate breakdown.
“Global leaders need to put more effort in protecting natural resources. Commitment of world leaders to reafforestation is extremely urgent. Careful studies of the environmental impact of industries on air and water pollution.”
“Properly listening to the voice of the poor countries in relation to needs of small farmers. COP26 leaders being pragmatic about their promise and their global mandates. Enforcement of political commitment, resource channelling and clear mechanisms and strategies to track implementation and impacts on the lives of small farmers.”
“Invest more in agricultural extension services to ensure they have the capacity to impart the knowledge and skills to small farmers so they can anticipate, respond and adapt to climate change. Invest more in public infrastructures that would make the small farmer less dependent on rain-fed agriculture. Catalysing renewable energy. Investing in innovation that brings renewable energy closer to the rural community, including high-quality briquettes, and solar and biogas grid.”
“(World leaders) should use science to understand the effect of climate crisis on smallholder farmers and use it for policy option. They should allocate a reasonable resource to overcome the challenges facing smallholder farmers.”
“Increase the financial support/budget allocation to programmes and projects that build small farmers’ capacities and resilience to climate change and its effects. Put in place mechanisms that facilitate small farmers’ access to affordable renewable energy sources and other simple climate-smart technologies. ”
“The leaders need to be more sensitive to the needs of small-scale farmers. Put in place policies that encourage preservation and enhancement rather than increased production at the expense of the environment. Promotion of development activities that preserve the environment rather than destroy. Promotion of organic methods and only limited use of non-organic products.”