Farmers across Africa understand that the climate crisis is affecting their harvests and their “daily bread”. In sub-Saharan Africa, growing numbers of people are chronically undernourished, with over 21 percent of the population suffering from severe food insecurity.
African smallholder farmers have no choice but to adapt to climate change: 2020 was the second hottest year on record, while prolonged droughts and explosive floods are directly threatening the livelihoods of millions. By the 2030s, lack of rainfall and rising temperatures could render 40 percent of Africa’s maize-growing area unsuitable for climate-vulnerable varieties grown by farmers, while maize remains the preferred and affordable staple food for millions of Africans who survive on less than a few dollars of income a day.
For farmers in sub-Saharan Africa, especially smallholders, this involves producing improved crop varieties that are not only high-yielding but also tolerant to drought and heat, resistant to diseases and insect pests, and can contribute to minimizing the risk of farming under rainfed conditions.