Zimbabwe has been urged to register as a member of the Global Alliance for Climate Smart Agriculture (GACSA) to ensure that the country remains abreast with changing information in the wake of climate change and extreme weather conditions.

GACSA is a voluntary multi stakeholder platform on climate smart agriculture, whose vision is to improve food security, nutrition and resilience in the face of climate change.

Zimbabwe Climate Change Coalition and the Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union are some of the local organisations working with farmers who are members of GACSA.

Chairperson of the Western Farmers Consortium, Mrs Morege Whatt said Zimbabwe could tap into vast opportunities that will enhance its initiatives in improving agricultural productivity in a sustainable way by joining the farming organisation.

“We encourage the government to register formally because the alliance incorporates any interested organisation, including small ones. It actually promised 100% that when Zimbabwe is registered, it will assist us in so many ways,” she said.

According to the Regional and Research Programme Director of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics, Dr Moses Siambi, it is important to embrace the climate smart agriculture considering that it also helps farmers practice methods that reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with agriculture.

“The first thing is about the changing climate so both the amount of rainfall and the length of the growing season is changing and therefore, farmers need crops that they are assured of harvesting. The second reason for smart agriculture is to do with nutrition, we want people to grow nutritious crops that they can also consume and improve their health,” said Dr Siambi.

Agriculture is the back-borne of the country’s economy but has over the years been affected by extreme weather conditions such as El-Nino and Cyclone Dineo which left some parts of the country ravaged and in need of food aid.