The existing departmental climate change mitigation and adaptation sector plans are currently being implemented to mitigate the risks and vulnerabilities associated with the negative impacts of climate change.
(a)(i),(ii) Mitigation plans
The Department has put in place Mitigation and Adaptation programmes to reduce the agricultural greenhouse gas emissions (mitigation) and enhance the resilience of food and agricultural production systems in the sector to ensure durability and sustainability of the agricultural sector, and safeguarding national food security. Under Mitigation programme, the Department has put in place programmes to provide support to the most vulnerable groups such as subsistence farmers on training, capacity building and creating awareness on the impact of climate change. The Department has planned to assist 44 subsistence producers to be supported with integrated bioenergy (biogas) technology over a period of three (3) years starting in the current financial year. The biogas programme is being implemented in Mpumalanga, North West, Kwazulu-Natal, Eastern Cape, Free State and Limpopo. The project on integrated bioenergy-crop production system assist farmers with the provision and installation of biogas digesters, roof water harvesting and irrigation system, rain gauges’ installation, establishment of backyard gardens as well as the provision of seedlings to subsistence producers. This also assist the Department and the sector to address priorities such as clean and renewable energy provision, climate change mitigation, adaptation, disaster risk reduction, and food security.
(b)(i), (ii) Adaptation plans
Under Adaptation programme, the Department has put in place programmes to increase the adaptive capacity of the agricultural sector to the adverse impacts of climate change through research, training and capacity building. The Department is currently implementing crop suitability to climate change in four (4) provinces, namely: Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Kwazulu-Natal and Free State. The crop-suitability programme assist with developing drought resistant cultivars or crops, capacitating farmers on climate smart agriculture approaches (crop and livestock production) and conservation agriculture, etc. The sorghum production climate change adaptation strategies will provide guidance for sorghum producers/ farmers on how adapt to the impact of climate change. These strategies are being developed to ensure that the producers/growers acquire the appropriate management information, knowledge and skills to achieve maximum yields under climate change conditions through enhancing the resilience of sorghum production systems.
The Department has also commissioned research on vulnerability assessments on crops and livestock production to the impacts of climate change. The research outputs enable the Department and sector to inform policy development decisions and actions taking into consideration the long-term projections to implement the outcomes and ensure the achievement of the long-term objectives of increased resilience and adaptive capacity, reduced risk and vulnerabilities associated with the increasing climate variability and change.