Tackling Southern Africa’s climate-driven food crisis

A record 45 million people in the 16-nation South African Development Community (SADC) face severe food insecurity in the next six months. Persistent drought, back-to-back cyclones and flooding have wreaked havoc on harvests in a region overly dependent on rain-fed, smallholder agriculture. With temperatures rising at twice the global average and designated a climate “hotspot” by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Southern Africa has experienced normal rainfall in just one of the last five growing seasons. In late 2018 and early 2019 many western and central areas experienced the driest growing season in a generation, precipitating widespread crop failure in Zimbabwe, northern Namibia and southern parts of Angola, Botswana and Zambia.