COP15 on desertification and land degradation continues in Abidjan. As degraded land expands and the planet’s population continues to grow, how can practices be changed to deal with the consequences of climate change, such as water scarcity and declines in agricultural yields? Some representatives of the peasant world came to give voice to remind the leaders of this world of the urgency.
Mauricette Bly is at the head of a cooperative of a hundred women in Bangolo, in Guémon, a wooded region in the west of Côte d’Ivoire. A cooperative that operates no less than 500 hectares of land where it mainly grows food products intended for food. Problem: In recent years, yields have dropped due to drought.
“Since 2015, we have seen our products dry out due to lack of water. For us, the solutions we need today are irrigation systems, above-ground production and drilling. Because we have waterways in our production areas that can really help us protect food security. This is a concern for me. »
Mauricette Bly made the trip from Abidjan to attend COP15 until the end, to understand what is planned for these women farmers. Women who have solutions to offer but who are waiting for financial support.
“Because the systems I’m talking about are expensive. The irrigation system is expensive, the system [de culture] above ground also because you have to find the right equipment to put it in place. These are high amounts: the irrigation system for 1 ha already costs 14 million [de francs CFA]. When we multiply by 500 ha…”
A bank came forward to support the cassava producers of the cooperative whose president also intends to make the voice of Ivorian women farmers heard.
Healthy agriculture, a public health issue
Protecting water that is becoming scarce and protecting the soil from human pollution is also a public health issue, explains Jean-Marie Vianny Yaméogo, director of the World Health Organization in Côte d’Ivoire.
What does desertification and drought mean? A lack of drinking water. And if there is no clean water, there are all the emerging water-related diseases that will hatch. So we have to work hard not to destroy this unique and irreplaceable commodity. […] We must control the use of pesticides […] because they are found in vegetables and fruits.
Read the original article at: https://www.rfi.fr/fr/afrique/20220511-cop15-%C3%A0-abidjan-changer-les-pratiques-agricoles-pour-r%C3%A9duire-la- d%C3%A9sertification