FAO launches radio program on climate-smart agriculture in Somalia

FAO Africa

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) said Tuesday it has introduced a new cycle of radio programs mainly focusing on the impact of climate change on food security in Somalia.

Etienne Peterschmitt, FAO Representative in Somalia said the programs which will focus on climate-smart agriculture, will be an extension of the radio training modules which the FAO launched in 2020 to adapt to COVID-19 constraints. Peterschmitt said there is a need to highlight the impact of climate change on food production and educate stakeholders on the same. “Since COVID-19 measures are still in place, FAO will make use of the ongoing radio training programs to carry out remote extension focusing on the impact of climate change,” he said in a statement issued in Mogadishu.

Climate-smart agriculture is an approach that helps to guide actions needed to transform and reorient agricultural systems to effectively support the development and ensure food security in a changing climate. The FAO said the new cycle of programs is launched at a time when the impacts of climate change are being felt globally, including in Somalia which has faced droughts, flood, and desert locust upsurge over the last two years. This, the UN food agency said, has significantly reduced crop yield and lowered livestock productivity leading to major gaps in food consumption.

Francesco Diasio, International Communication for Development expert, coordinating the radio initiative said the distance radio learning modules are cost-effective and have already demonstrated an important impact, reaching between 700,000 to 900,000 persons on a weekly basis. The FAO said the new climate-smart programs will be produced and broadcast by selected major radio stations across Somalia. A total of six episodes will be aired across the country on key topics like conservation agriculture, crop intensification, water management, and harvesting and post-harvesting management. Ezana Kassa, head of the program at FAO Somalia said the radio programs will contribute to reducing rural communities’ vulnerability to food insecurity through adaptation of Climate-Smart practices.

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