• A slippery slope

    A slippery slope

    Bananas. They’re high in potassium and Vitamin C, not to mention a bunch of other minerals. Around 100 million people in sub-Saharan Africa rely on them for sustenance, and – according to the African Agricultural Technology Foundation – bananas are the livelihood source of more than 50 million smallholder farmers.

    However, a recent study by the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) warns that global warming is likely to make as much as 30% of banana fields unsuitable for growth by the end of the century. Some 60% of beans – another important food crop – will be affected too, while 30% of maize is also under threat.

    To give these vital crops a fighting chance, the CIAT has urged policymakers to step up efforts to adapt local farming and limit the effects of higher temperatures and rainfall on food production, according to a SciDev.Net report.

    There’s good news, however, for farmers of millet, sorghum, cassava, groundnut and yams. These crops are typically more tolerant of climate change and less likely to be negatively affected.

    22 March 2016
    Image: Gallo/GettyImages