Smarter Farming Could Cut Hunger in Drought-hit Southern Africa: Researchers

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According to agriculture and development researchers, Southern African farmers facing hunger as a result of worsening drought know a lot about climate change but lack the resources to put solutions that work into place, Reuters reports. Such shortcomings are one reason an ongoing drought in southern Africa has left 23 million people dependent on food aid, with another 13 million in need of help, according to the Southern African Development Community. In addition, persuading farmers to buy indexed insurance remains a struggle, said Godwin Mashiri, a micro-insurance expert with mobile phone company Econet Wireless, based in Zimbabwe. “Farmers in southern Africa have mobile phones and may be aware of weather index insurance products offered via mobile phones but their lack of understanding of and trust in insurance products meant they suffered losses when they could have taken some insurance on their livestock,” Mashiri added.

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