The paper gives an overview of the ways in which climate change will impact rural societies, in particular poor farmers in developing countries.It predicts that Africa will be hardest hit because of its heavy dependence on agriculture, existing degraded soils and high poverty and tight budget constraints.
The authors cover the following areas and suggest steps that farmers, policy makers, and researchers can take to minimise losses and adapt to climate change:
farmers must adapt: details the need for new crop technologies and increased investments in water security in rural areas and also policy actions to give small-scale subsistence farmers better access to information, credit and markets.It also introduces the idea of weather-indexed insurance
trees are one answer: discusses the potential for agroforestry as a method for improving soil quality and mitigating climate change.This latter point has potential to involve farmers in carbon emissions trading as part of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)
delivering better weather forecasts: discusses both the need for better information and better tools for disseminating this information in a way that can be used by the most vulnerable farmers
not just a future problem: discusses the need for more funding to deal with adaptation to climate change, in both agriculture and other sectors