Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

Africa’s climate is getting worse for farming, survey reports

 

 

Perceptions of climate conditions for farming are getting worse on the African continent, according to survey group Afrobarometer.

In a public opinion survey of 34 countries, Afrobarometer found that 49% of people thought that “climate conditions for agricultural production in your area” have gotten worse, or much worse, in the past decade. Just 20% of respondents thought that things were getting better, while the rest thought things had stayed the same, or said they did not know enough to respond properly.

These top-line numbers disguise interesting variations at country and regional level, however.

“These averages across 34 countries hide vast differences between countries and between regions,” said Afrobarometer. “Overwhelming majorities see worse weather patterns for growing crops in Uganda (85%), Malawi (81%), and Lesotho (79%), while fewer than one in four Moroccans (16%) and Mozambicans (23%) agree.”

In only four countries — Morocco, Senegal, Botswana and Zimbabwe — did respondents say that weather conditions had improved.

In most countries, respondents said that worsening droughts were to blame for the poor farming conditions. In Malawi, Madagascar, and Eswatini, most citizens said that both droughts and floods were getting worse.

Parts of the survey were conducted before Cyclone Idai struck Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi, killing more than 1 000 people. “We do not know how, if at all, specific experiences of extreme weather might affect people’s assessments of long-term changes in climate,” said Afrobarometer.

The survey also found that 58% of people surveyed had heard of climate change; of these, some 63% associate the term with negative weather patterns.

Afrobarometer suggested that their findings could help governments, activists, and policymakers to raise awareness about climate change. “Groups that are less familiar with climate change — and might be good targets for awareness-raising and advocacy in building a popular base for climate-change action — include people working in agriculture, rural residents, women, the poor, and the less-educated.”

Read the survey below:

Afrobarometer: Experience and Awareness of Climate Change in Africa by Mail and Guardian on Scribd

Subscribe for R500/year

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and get a 57% discount in your first year.

Simon Allison
Simon Allison
Simon Allison is the Africa editor of the Mail & Guardian, and the founding editor-in-chief of The Continent. He is a 2021 Young Africa Leadership Initiative fellow.

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Subscribers only

Fears of violence persist a year after the murder of...

The court battle to stop coal mining in rural KwaZulu-Natal has heightened the sense of danger among environmental activists

Data shows EFF has lower negative sentiment online among voters...

The EFF has a stronger online presence than the ANC and Democratic Alliance

More top stories

Libyan town clings to memory of Gaddafi, 10 years on

Rebels killed Muammar Gaddafi in his hometown of Sirte on 20 October 2011, months into the Nato-backed rebellion that ended his four-decade rule

Fishing subsidies in the W. Cape: ‘Illegal fishing is our...

Fishers claim they are forced into illegal trawling because subsidies only benefit big vessels

Kenya’s beach boys fall into sex tourism, trafficking

In the face of their families’ poverty, young men, persuaded by the prospect of wealth or education, travel to Europe with their older female sponsors only to be trafficked for sex
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×