Farming in Times of Climate Change
Updated: Jul 18, 2022
Work on the Communal Farm continues and, like all agricultural ventures, there are some successes and some setbacks. The goat rearing project is progressing well, thanks to your donations from our April GlobalGiving campaign. An enclosure is being built, and the housing shed just needs a roof. Once these are completed, the first goats can be purchased.
Drought is an ever-increasing impediment to all our farm projects. The first harvest of staple crops was disappointing; lack of rain stunted the growth of the maize, groundnuts and soybeans, seriously decreasing both the yield and the quality.
Normally, the rainy season in this area is from November - March, and the dry season is from May to October. But due to climate change, over the last few years it has become difficult to predict when or how much rain will fall. It has been very dry since 2020. Last year the rains did not start until January, and stopped during February - only 1 month of precipitation instead of 5 months. This means that it was already dry before the dry season began. The next few months will be perilous for all crops without major irrigation.
There is no indication that the drought situation will get better. We would like to dig a second well on the Communal Farm to be able to irrigate a larger portion of the land to insure better yields, and to be able to plant during more of the year. This will provide not only food for the community, but also a source of income to help the farm become self sustaining.