Today, the CGIAR (consultative group on International Agricultural Research) hold a media briefing over the famine in the Horn of Africa to discuss evidence based intervention in arid areas.
One of the key topic that was addressed is the role of vulnerability of the farmers of the Horn of Africa and how to make this farmer more resilient and able to cope with shocks, such as for example drought. Topic addressed where :
- market access and market information
- information about weather and location of fodder
- improve fodder for livestock
- veterinary services for livestock
- drought tolerant crops
- water storage for crop, livestock and domestic use
- food aid, and information systems to inform about where food surpluses are
- weather insurances
The whole discussion reminds us that there is no such a thing than one simple solution. Every place is different, in location like Somalia with very little rainfall, it does not make sense to talk about irrigation schemes. Livestock provides more food security that crop. Whereas in areas with more rainfall, agro-ecological specific drought resistant crops be made available in affordable small packages can make more sense.
If you got curious, look at the full debate :