It’s fantastic to see that the UN Climate Change meeting has been considered a success with the ambitious aim to cap global warming at just two degrees agreed.
Africa is expected to be one of the worst effected areas by global warming, with five major changes forecast across the continent;
- Farming is expected to become harder with rising temperatures and unpredictable rains effecting growing seasons and potential cropping options.
- Key subsistence crops as Maize are likely to become impossible to grow in certain regions throughout the continent.
- As food insecurity grows there will be a corresponding increase in chronic malnutrition, particularly in the poorer rural areas.
- Malaria, Africa’s biggest killer is expected to spread as the temperatures rise, effecting previously unexposed areas over 2,000m in altitude.
- Water scarcity and shortages are expected and with the high levels of water stress already experienced in many African countries the prospects are not good for rain fed agriculture.
Anything that can be done to reduce global warming can only be a good thing and it’s excellent that the Rainforest Alliance, who certify each of our four farms, are focused on transforming land-use practices and fostering sustainable livelihoods, advocating policies and practices that encourage climate smart behaviour within the land sector.
As a rain fed agricultural system tea growing is forecast to be hard hit over the next century as the Earth warms. In fact some predictions have Kericho, the largest are of continuous tea in the world and location of our Changoi farm, as unable to grow tea in 100 years! As part of the work our Williamson Tea Foundation carries out we actively invest in climate smart agriculture, for example our 1 megawatt Solar Park at Changoi, currently the largest in East Africa and powers our factory entirely on renewable energy during daylight hours, as well as carbon sequestration through our many tree planting programmes and the conservation of water, soils and other natural resources. We try to plan and put in place farming models that are productive, resilient and resource efficient for the future, both at large and small scales.
Everyone on the planet has the responsibility and ability to ensure they reduce their footprint in order that future generations can enjoy fertile soils, regular rainfall and an environment as good, if not better than the one we have today.