dr Alice Karanja is a postdoctoral fellow at the World Agroforestry Center (ICRAF) in Nairobi, Kenya, where her research focuses on restoring agricultural landscapes based on regenerative agriculture for biodiverse, inclusive, secure and resilient food systems. Credit: Paul Virgo/IPSby Paul Virgo (Rome)Monday 31 October 2022Inter Press Service
ROME, October 31 (IPS) – Dr. Alice Karanja knows from her own experience what difficult decisions the climate crisis is making for people in the Global South. decisions such as B. whether you want to eat healthily or give your children an education. Decisions like whether to starve or give your children a chance to go to school at all.
Raised on a small farm in Kenya, Karanja’s family made these tough choices and the tremendous sacrifices necessary to enable her to go all the way in education and a PhD in Sustainability Studies at the University of Tokyo , Japan.
“I grew up on the slopes of Mount Kenya in a smallholder family,” Karanja told IPS at the recent World Food Forum at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) headquarters in Rome.
“My parents are both small farmers. My motivation for my work is inspired by what I saw growing up.
“I have observed my parents and how they have been and are still being affected by climate change in terms of extreme weather patterns, prolonged drought and erratic rainfall patterns.
“The income they received from their farms was sometimes used primarily to support us with education or health, while the expectation was that we could diversify our diets at home.
“In Africa, one of the issues that affects us is the limited choice of crops grown, mainly maize, wheat and rice. So when people grow corn, they expect some income to get some vegetable or fruit to include in their diet. However, due to climate change, this money can often only be used for other household needs.”
Karanja now uses her skills to help people like her parents.
She is a postdoctoral fellow at the World Agroforestry Center (ICRAF) in Nairobi, Kenya, where her research focuses on restoring agricultural landscapes based on regenerative agriculture for biodiverse, inclusive, secure and resilient food systems.
She also plans to pilot a food tree portfolio project in Zambia to help smallholder families gain year-round access to nutritious food, diversify their income, and build resilience to rising food prices and climate change.
“Most of my work lies at the intersection of livelihood resilience to climate change, food security and conservation, and the use of agrobiodiversity for improved nutrition,” said Karanja.
“For the last two years, in my work at ICRAF, I have looked at the role of agricultural biodiversity and its interaction with diet diversification, and also how this interaction affects nutritional status, particularly for women and children.”
Many other experts selected to participate in the Young Scientists Cohort (YSG) at the World Food Forum had similar stories.
Ram Neupane decided to study agriculture after being born on a small family farm in Gorkha, Nepal and seeing the economic and psychological impact of devastating crop diseases.
Ram Neupane. Credit: Paul Virgo/IPS
“Climate change is a tentacle threat to all aspects (of life), and plant health is affected, too,” Neupane, who is pursuing a dual-degree doctorate in plant pathology thanks to a fellowship at Penn State University in the US, told IPS.
“Due to climate change, novel pathogens and viruses are emerging right now. I come from one of the more rural parts of Nepal. Having grown up in a farming family, I have first-hand experience of the impact it has on the farming community there. In my village, for example, the main crop is rice and most of the rice is fed with rain.”
“When it rains, the farmers plant their rice. Irregularities in the timing and frequency of rainfall have occurred due to climate change, affecting planting times.
“This, in turn, affects the entire cultivation system.
“This has caused people to migrate from more rural areas to urban areas because farming is no longer profitable.”
dr Peter Asare-Nuamah, lecturer at the University of Environment and Sustainable Development, Ghana, uses his quantitative and qualitative research skills and experience to make solution-oriented contributions, particularly on issues of climate change, food security, adaptation and environmental management in smallholder farming systems in developing countries.
“I chose this (career path) because I saw something about climate change,” Asare-Nuamah told IPS.
“I work in the context of climate change and smallholder farming systems.
“I was born in a rural farming community where we grow cacao, cassava and other food crops and you could see the effects of climate change.
“Back then, the conversation about the impact of climate change wasn’t that high, it was dealing with high-level political discussions, and I felt there was a need to engage individuals in the conversation about how to address climate change.
“People in my community are suffering. You plant (grain) and because of the lack of rain, the crops do not ripen. Even when they mature, they provide very low yields.
“Pests and diseases exist all over the world and in Ghana we are currently suffering from Autumn Armyworm which has arrived due to climate change and is causing devastating consequences.
“Small farmers feed much of the African continent’s population, but they have not been able to lift themselves out of poverty and continue to struggle.
dr Peter Asare-Nuamah, Lecturer at the University of Environment and Sustainable Development, Ghana. Credit: Paul Virgo/IPS
Education is an issue. Basic needs are also an issue.
“So all of this puts them in a position where they’re very vulnerable.
“Even though African economies contribute less than 3% to global carbon emissions, the impact in this part of the continent is so great.
“This necessitates the need to address climate change, how developed economies that have contributed so much to climate change can come together and help small farmers and developing countries mitigate some of the challenges created by the actions and inactions of some of the developed economies.
“So these are the issues that have personally made me step into the climate change arena so that I can contribute that we have solutions for smallholders, we have conversations, we have financing and we have the ability to have the capacity build up smallholders”.
© Inter Press Service (2022) — All rights reservedOriginal source: Inter Press Service
Browse related news topics:
Read the latest news:
Peasant kids-turned-scientists give back on the frontlines of the climate crisis Monday October 31, 2022A new digitization effort in Bangladesh could transform the health of communities worldwide Monday October 31, 2022A history of cities Monday October 31, 2022Russia’s row over drones World food crisis threatening to escalate Monday, October 31, 2022 Security Council to debate Russian withdrawal from crucial grain deal with Ukraine Monday, October 31, 2022 Energy companies’ methane emissions are progressing, but the numbers still don’t add up: UNEP Monday, October 31, 2022 Congo: Guterres ‘deeply concerned’ by renewed fighting between government forces and M23 Monday 31 October 2022 Global labor market set to deteriorate amid war shocks in Ukraine: ILO Monday 31 October 2022 ‘Act Local to Go Global’ is a universal theme for World Cities Day Monday 31 October 2022 UN chief ‘deeply concerned’ over deadlocked Black Sea Grains Initiative Sunday, October 30, 2022
Learn more about the issues involved:
Bookmark or share this through some popular social bookmarking websites:
Link to this page from your website/blog
Add the following HTML code to your page: