BUJUMBURA March 6th (ABP) – The Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture, Mr. Emmanuel Ndorimana, told the check by ABP on Monday that although the consequences of climate change on human activities are recognized by political, economic and scientific environments, their understanding is still very limited today, especially for agriculture, which is one of the sectors for which an accurate estimate is far from reaching a consensus. As the Burundi’s economy is mainly based on the agricultural sector, it is affected by climate change, which causes disturbances in cropping seasons, floods and recurring drought in some regions of the country.
In the long run, Ndorimana said, climate change, particularly global warming, could affect agriculture in a number of ways that, for the most part, would threaten the food security of the world’s most vulnerable people. The general predictability of weather and climate would decrease by making the planning of agricultural operations more difficult. Climate variability could increase, exerting additional pressure on fragile farming systems. Extreme weather conditions that are almost impossible to predict could become more frequent. Sea levels would rise, threatening good land on the coast, especially in small, low-lying islands. Biological diversity would be reduced in some very fragile environments such as tropical forests. Climatic and agro-ecological zones would move, forcing farmers to adapt and threatening natural vegetation and fauna. Pests and vector-borne diseases would spread to areas where they were previously unknown.
For Ndorimana, climate change is a source of precariousness, vulnerability and even risk. It contributes in particular to accentuating the gaps between the rich and the poor. While it affects all countries, the poorest are paradoxically the most affected, while it is also recognized that they are among those who contribute the least to greenhouse gas emissions. While Africa contributes only 4% to the phenomenon of greenhouse gas emissions, the African continent is one of the most vulnerable to climate change, with a negative impact on its agriculture, on its food security, on its economy and the health of its people, concluded Mr. Ndorimana.