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Women step forward in push to nurture African climate scientists
ОписаниеBy Busani Bafana
BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe, Jan 13 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - As a child, Kenyan meteorologist Saumu Shaka helped out on her parents' small farm growing maize and pigeon pea - and learned how the weather can hold food producers hostage.
"Looking back, the yield has declined over the years," said Shaka, 28, who works with the Kenya Meteorological Department.
A decade ago, her parents would get 25 sacks of maize from their six hectares in Taita Taveta County, southeast of Nairobi.
Today that has dwindled to five bags at most, because of erratic rainfall that can also spur crop-destroying pests.
As climate change fuels extreme weather and threatens harvests, Africa needs more scientific expertise to help small-scale farmers adapt, especially women who tend to be hit worst, said Wanjiru Kamau-Rutenberg, director of Nairobi-based group African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD).