Friday, November 30, 2012

'Norway feels responsible for climate change effects hitting Malawi'

The Royal Norwegian government says it feels responsible for the climate change that is affecting smallholder farmers in the country and has vowed to continue supporting efforts that mitigate the harsh effects climate change.

The remarks were uttered by Norway's Minister of International Development, Heikki Holmås ·at Khombeza in Salima where he signed for K6.5 billion grant from his government to National Smallholder Farmers' Association of Malawi (Nasfam).

The grant is important because we feel responsible for the climate change that is happening and it's important because it gives higher yields to farmers for less labour.

M'baya exchanges documents with Holmas at the signing ceremony in Salima
The grant aims at changing the way farming is done; making certain that you are protecting the soil, making certain that you get more nitrogen into the soil so you can use less fertilisation because its costly and to ensure better resilience in cases of drought, said Holmås.

He however said the grant is not a payout for Norway to continue pollution; he said Norway will continue to reduce its pollution and urged African governments to confront Western governments to reduce their pollution.

We have developed a strategy to reduce our carbon emission but at the same time we are obliged to support the countries that are feeling the strongest effects of climate change that is why we are in Malawi and that is why we are backing small holder farmers that are working together, said Holmås.

He said Norway is supporting many sectors but said it is the smallholders that are feeling the effects of climate change the most making Norway double its investment in their climate robust farming efforts.

Nasfam Board Chair, Jackson M'baya hailed the Norwegian grant and promised to use the moneys as agreed in the MOU.

As farmers, we understand the valuable role that development partners like the Government of Norway have in turning around our situations. We value the support towards home-grown legume seed multiplication and production, irrigation and winter cropping, said M'baya.

As of 2006 Africa only contributed 3.6 percent of the global carbon emission, Europe and North America are the major polluters and Holmås actually said one Norwegian emits about a 100 times more carbon than a Malawian.

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