Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Changes in climate may force small farmers to swap crops

Changes in climate may force small farmers to swap crops

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Corn farmers will face mounting pressure to switch crops as water stress increases. AFP

Changes in climate may force small farmers to swap crops

Small farmers around the world who grow thirsty crops like corn will face a huge adaptation challenge as the effects of climate change worsen in the coming years, experts warned on October 27.

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) sounded the alarm in a report after commissioning a study on agriculture in southern and eastern Africa.

Harvests of staple crops in eight countries could plummet by up to 80 per cent by 2050 as warming accelerates, the report projected.

The study was carried by the University of Cape Town, which analysed climate impact on agriculture in Angola, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

It projected a temperature rise of around two degrees Celsius by 2069, and up to 2.6C in some places.

Corn requires a lot of water to grow, which will add to pressure on farmers to switch to strains that mature earlier, or to switch to more resilient crops such as cassava, peanuts, beans, sorghum and millet.

But moving to different crops is easier said than done, as there can be strong market preferences, IFAD said.

Farmers also face many financial and technical hurdles as they contemplate a switch, from advice on seeds and the acquisition of new tools to the processing and storage of crops to prevent spoilage.

It is estimated that less developed economies require between $140 and $300 billion annually by 2030 to combat the impact of climate change.

At present, out of every $18 committed to fighting climate change, only $1 is spent on adaptation – the rest goes on reducing carbon emissions that cause the problem.


  • Massive stingrays may live in Mekong’s deep pools

    US scientists have suggested that unexplored deep pools in the Mekong River in an area of Stung Treng could potentially be home to significant populations of giant freshwater stingrays, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish species. This comes as a fisherman hooked a 180

  • CCC team off on US business trip

    The Kingdom’s leading economists and private sector representatives have called on the US to renew its tax preferential status for Cambodian exports, as a Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) delegation departed for a weeklong business visit to the US, where they will meet with

  • PM takes time to meet, greet Cambodians living in the US

    After landing in the US ahead of the ASEAN-US Special Summit, Prime Minister Hun Sen was received by over 1,000 Cambodian-Americans including political analysts who welcomed him with greetings, fist bumps and selfies. Hun Sen also met with analyst Mak Hoeun, who had allegedly spoken ill

  • Khmer cinema classics back on big screen for free at WB Arena’s outdoor movies series

    On a recent Saturday evening at WB Arena, Bunsong was enjoying a tasty BBQ meal with his family after work on the long tables that had been arranged out in front of the restaurant as they watched a Khmer action movie on a big outdoor

  • PM heads to Washington for ASEAN-US special summit

    Regional and international issues and how to bring the ASEAN-US partnership to another level will be discussed at length as Prime Minister Hun Sen and his ministers arrive in Washington, DC, for a special summit on May 12-13. During the trip, Hun Sen and ASEAN

  • National Assembly refutes EU resolution

    The National Assembly (NA) has hit back at a European Parliament resolution condemning the political and human rights situation in Cambodia, calling it another display of the Parliament’s “double standards”. Key points of the resolution include a warning that the Parliament could exclude the