NAIROBI, April 9 (Xinhua) -- The UN specialized agency on combating hunger on Monday urged African states to embrace traditional crops in order to combat climate change.
Wilson Ronno, Crops Officer at The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Kenya, told a media briefing in Nairobi that studies have indicated that Sub-Sahara Africa will lose a significant portion of its arable land in the coming decades due to climate change.
"Africa should embrace and promote sorghum, millet, cassava and indigenous vegetables because they could help the continent fight climate change because they are drought tolerant," Ronno said when FAO officials made a courtesy call to the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization offices.
The FAO officials are currently visiting Kenyan projects that have received financial assistance from the Benefit Sharing Fund which aims to increase the number of nutritious crops that farmers grow.
Ronno said the amount of land suitable for growing one of Africa's key staple crop, maize will reduce as climate change is now a reality.
"The continent should ensure resilience against climate change by embracing traditional crops that have been neglected," he added.
Ronno observed that millets and sorghum will be the food for the future when temperatures go up and maize can longer perform well.
Crops Officer at The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Kenya said cultivation and consumption of indigenous crops has been on the decline due to increasing urbanization and change of lifestyles.
He noted that as Africa economy develops, the urban population have begun to embrace foreign foods and move away from consuming indigenous crops.
"As a result farmers have lost the incentive to cultivate traditional crops such as sorghum and millet," he added.