By MARCUS MUSHONGA in Harare

EXPERTS have encouraged Zimbabwe to implement research-informed climate-smart farming policies as a majority increasingly become vulnerable to climate change.

According to the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), more than half the 15-million population is susceptible to climate change.

The social and economic impacts are severe.

These were measured with various indicators for economic development, nutrition and food security.

According to ICRISAT, Zimbabwe must adopt aforementioned policies, in line with its international and national climate change commitments.

Agriculture accounts for 20 percent of Zimbabwe’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

“It has potential for growth with the right investment and policy environment,” ICRISAT stated.

“However, there is a mismatch between specific farming systems, proposed policies, climate-change adaptation interventions and the allocation of financial and technical resources.”

In response to the need for research-informed climate-change adaptation actions, a workshop was organized on the theme “Building Agriculture’s Future Scenarios: Climate Change Adaptation and Sustainability.”

The goal was to inform agricultural development and climate change adaptation at local-to-national levels and address policy decision gaps.

Workshop participants drew action plans that would allow addressing the issue.

“Models are necessary, as research is costly, and the models can assist us making decisions towards the future,” said Dorah Mwenye, Department of Research and Specialists Services, Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement.

Zimbabwe has endured successive years of drought and intermittently suffers flooding. – CAJ News