Pro Poor Research, Science and Technology for Agricultural Development in the Context of Climate Change and Variability In Southern Africa


  • Never Assan Zimbabwe Open University, Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Livestock Production, Bulawayo Region, Box 3550, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe


Pro poor, Climate change, Agriculture development, Southern Africa


Due to climatic change and variability, achieving sustainability in agricultural development with emphasis on satisfying basic human needs and improving people’s standard of living through enhancing food security and reducing poverty has been a challenge in Southern Africa.  This discussion is a synthesis of counter productive developmental disparities in agricultural production in poor communities, focusing on issues of research, science and technology, and how these may influence agricultural development in the context of climate change. This gives possible insight on research, science and technological innovations that can be explored as  strategies for agricultural development tailored made for poor communities, focusing particularly on Southern Africa. Climate change and variability is an area in which considerable uncertainty remains, especially in developing countries with implications suggesting that the future holds many types of disruption in poor communities, but no clear trends have yet been identified, whereas observations of the impact of climate change on agricultural productivity in the world's poorest people are often alarmist. Research, science and technology  plays a key role in economic growth, social development, cultural enrichment and democratic empowerment.  It is assumed that through the ‘gender lens’ an understanding of  engendered research, science and technology through examination of specific gender roles, activities, responsibilities, opportunities and constraints in agricultural  production which compromise the achievement of greater equality between women and men within their spheres of interaction in agricultural  production will address the fundamental issue of climate change and agricultural productivity. Gender is a socio-economic variable which can be used to analyze vulnerability and adaptive capacity of people against climate change and variability in local communities in Southern Africa. Dealing with the inevitable impact of climate change is now high on the agricultural development agenda in most developing countries. Therefore, engaging in appropriate research, climate change science and agricultural technologies targeted at poor rural people through planning adaptation and mitigation efforts can reduce the risks of climate change while accelerating progress towards food security and reducing poverty. In this discussion, it is noted that apart from appropriate research, climate change sciences and technology as some of the strategic steps that can be adopted for future viable agricultural production in the context of climate change, it may also include and not limited to the following: promotion of gender equality and equity in agricultural production in terms of resource allocation, training and gender sensitive policies. This gives room for  innovative prospects for the agricultural systems of the future, supplemented by a critical look at all the major mitigation and adaptation attempts  under way and what this means for research, science and technology for agricultural development. Developing countries should come up with their own resources to develop the capacity to adapt to environmental change in order to improve agricultural productivity. There is need for constant review of adaptation strategies through research, climate change science and agricultural technologies because the speed and intensity of climate change is outpacing the speed of autonomous adaptations and is threatening to overwhelm the ability of poor rural people to cope. On the other hand developing countries can use climate change policies to leverage human capacity, investment, and climate change and agricultural technology to capture large-scale pro poor mitigation opportunities, while simultaneously augmenting their agricultural development goals. It is vital that we come up with appropriate research, understand climate change science and agricultural technology that underlie the global climate talks, in order to work with poor communities to find concrete alternatives in response to the issues surrounding the climatewhile heeding the demands of sustainable agricultural development.


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How to Cite

Assan, N. . (2015). Pro Poor Research, Science and Technology for Agricultural Development in the Context of Climate Change and Variability In Southern Africa. Scientific Journal of Review, 4(7), 95-103. Retrieved from



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