Faced within sufficient rainfall, frequent droughts, demographic pressure, over-exploitation of land, inappropriate agricultural practices, and inadequate use of fertilisers, African soils are weakened, if not exhausted in some cases. The most notable phenomena contributing to this situation include: erosion, chemical degradation (nutrient loss, salination, acidification, etc.), and physical degradation (soil compaction, silting, etc.). Soil management is, therefore, a major issue, especially that African soils hold a great potential for carbon sequestration.
Notably, 65% of the planet’s unexploited arable lands are found in Africa. And solutions do exist; they just need to be supported in their development and implementation.
AAA promotes and supports three over-arching solution clusters to enhancesoil management:
Actions can be taken, however, to develop an integrated system of soil-fertility management based on a larger-scale, and more sensible, use of fertilisers. This management system will have to account for the complexity of each local context, given the enormous diversity of soils and cropping systems in Africa. .
- Managing systems: : Improve the biological fixation of atmospheric nitrogen in order to increase nitrogen availability in soils by adopting rotation systems for food and forage legumes; use fertigation and implement hydroponics; develop organic farming; treat soil acidity by applying phosphate rock; perform range land rehabilitation; etc.
In order to see these solutions through, farmers must be assisted :
In animal husbandry, too, Africa has come to face amomentous challenge. This sector, which contributes over 26% to Africa’s agricultural GDP, is marginally productive because it still relies on traditional production systems that are extremely vulnerable to climate changes.
As to agroforestry, which combines crops, trees/shrubs, and live stock farming in a synergetic manner, it offers numerous benefits to farmers and breeders, as well as to the environment.
In Africa today, more than 715 million hectares of deforested and degraded lands are eligible for restoration.
- Integrated management of agro forestry and arboriculture cropping systems : Improve technical coordination; promotes uburban agroforestry; domesticate native species and introduce economic-interest species;
- Integrated management of pastoral systems : Developrangelands and regulate transhumance flows; securelargely pastoral zones as well as strategic pastoral areas;
elaborate/implement range land development/rehabilitation protocols; set up/treat water points for live stock watering;
- Integrated management of forestsystems : Improve the management of forest landscapes and gain-sharing; introduce large-scale afforestation/reforestation programmes; establish national forestparks for carbon storage and for safe guarding diversity; launch sustainable natural-forest developments and increase reforestation/planting efforts.
Farmers must be sensitised to – as well as assisted and trained in – these practices. All these opportunities can materialise at a large scale by way of implementing assertive national or regional policies, strengthening regulatory and institutional provisions, engaging the private sector, improving the agricultural-investment environment, and building research capacity.
Agro-ecology must adoptspecific practices for each of the threescales (plot, farm, and territory), as well as for the components of agro-ecosystems.
- Implement a conservation-oriented agricultural model based on the minimal use of mechanised till age (no plowing or direct seeding), the permanent coverage of soil by organic, carbon-richmulch (straw and/or othercropresidues), crop rotations and associations (including nitrogen-fixing legumes);
- Introduce inter cropping (between tree rows);
of the world's
area is in Africa
More than 715
million hectares of deforested
or degraded lands
are eligible for restoration
Africa is the continent that suffers the most from agricultural-water scarcity.
About 66% of its lands are located in arid or semi-arid areas and are, thus, affected by water shortages. The continent is increasingly vulnerable to bouts of even dryer weather linked to climate change: mounting temperatures and reduce drain fall, with more frequent and longer extremes. Even regions sufficiently endowed with water lack conveyance, storage, and distribution infrastructures for land irrigation.
In Africa, only 5% of arable land is irrigated, while the irrigable potential stands at 25%. The irrigation of the African continent can be developed through an over-arching approach and a joint proactive action.
With regard to agricultural-water control, the solutions put forward by the AAA initiative are results/production-oriented. These solutions seek to achieve complementarity between water-conveyance installations, hydro-agricultural facilities, plot developments, institutional exploitation and reinforcement, and value addition.
all without losing sight of the scope of the areas to be developed for irrigation (large zones, collective or rustic zones, small-scale private irrigation, lowland development).
In this respect, five key themes have been identified :
Reinforce water-potential mobilisation: rehabilitate existing structures to optimise their capacity and build new structural facilities;
Proactively develop complementary irrigation between (a) large-scale irrigation based on the development of great plains, (b) lowland and flood-recession agriculture, (c) small-scale rural irrigation, and (d) individual irrigation;
Continue to strengthen the Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) approach, particularly for cross-border water management;
Modernise and promote more water-efficient and more productive irrigation and production systems;
Proactively support irrigation development through capacity building.
of African Lands are located in arid or semi-arid areas
of arable lands is irrigated in Africa, while the irrigable potential stands at 25%
Africa is the most affected continent by the repercussions of climate change. Weather-related hazards, droughts, acute temperature variations, and extreme precipitation – all of these endanger agriculture and food security. Africa is also one of the regions that are less prepared for these weather-related risks: 2/3 of African countries have little or no capacity to manage these risks. Good climate-risk management depends on the quality – and sharing – of collected data, as well as on stakeholder involvement.
Implementing these solutions requires the involvement of all stakeholders, namely, scientists and engineers (meteorologists, agronomists, and computer scientists), institutions (ministries, universities, agricultural research centres, insurance companies, etc.), and the farmers who have to be trained and supported.
AAA proposes 3 types of solutions for climate-risk management:
Developing observation and forecasting systems :
- improve the weather and climate observation network (make more compact and modern) ;
- improve weather forecasting systems ;
- develop agro-meteorological forecasting systems for crops and forages (process and analyse data – including satellite data – on weather and agriculture ;
- develop earth-observation facilities (through remote sensing space systems, mapping, GIS, GPS and other geomatic applications).
Developing academic and continuous training programmes: Provide trainings in Geographic Information Systems, in agro-meteorology, in remote sensing space systems, in crop-and-forage monitoring systems, in WEB-GIS application for agro-meteorological information dissemination, etc. ;
Develop index-based agricultural insurance, an insurance product based on weather and satellite indicators.
50 out of 54 countries
assign importance to early-warning and climate-risk management systems (INDC analysis)
of African countries lack efficient climate-risk management systems