Christian Aid backs poor farmers hit by climate change

By agency reporter
22 Jun 2008

Click here to visit Christian Aid's Present Aid, charity gifts site and find out more about how to help farmers

The UK-based international development agency Christian Aid will be using this year’s Royal Show, from 3-6 July 20088 at Stoneleigh Park in Warwickshire, to highlight the plight of farmers on the frontline of climate change.

The global anti-poverty charity will re-create a small piece of Burkina Faso, West Africa, in the Flowers, Gardening & Horticulture area, showcasing how farmers in sub-Saharan Africa are adapting to the devastating effects of an increasingly unpredictable climate.

Visitors to the show will be able to pick up handy do-it-yourself tips on how to combat summer drought inspired by farming communities in Burkina Faso, simple techniques that conserve water and improve the quality of the soil. Check out the tips at www.christianaid.org.uk/gardeningtips

Alex James, farmer, writer, broadcaster and former Blur band member, who visited Burkina Faso with Christian Aid in May will be at the show on 3 July. A special half hour documentary about his visit, Alex James in Africa – Farming for a future, will premier on the Community Channel on Friday 4 July at 20.30 on Sky 539 or Virgin TV 233.

The garden itself will demonstrate simple soil and water conservation techniques as well as how to make natural fertilisers and bio pesticides. It will also highlight the benefits of small scale livestock breeding projects and new solar technologies.

Alex James said: "As a working farmer, I was fascinated to see how agriculture in Burkina Faso compares with the structure of farms in the UK. It was great to exchange ideas and techniques, learning how farmers there are dealing with the challenges presented by climate change and then bringing this back to the Royal Show audience."

Christian Aid will be using the garden to highlight its Climate Changed campaign www.christianaid.org.uk/climate and raise vital funds for climate related projects across Africa, Asia and Latin America. If you are interested in keeping up-to-date with the Christian Aid Climate Changed campaign then become a fan of the 'Cut the Carbon' Facebook group.

Karen Hedges, Christian Aid, said: "Farmers in the UK are increasingly facing changing weather patterns and having to adapt their practices accordingly, as are the eighty percent of subsistence farmers in Burkina Faso. These changes have devastating consequences when you make your living from the land, no matter where you live, and Christian Aid is keen to encourage the sharing of ideas and new technologies for combating the increasing threat of an unpredictable climate."

Tickets for the Royal Show are available at www.christianaid.org.uk/climate with 10 per cent of the cover price going to Christian Aid when booked through its website.

Click here to visit Christian Aid's Present Aid, charity gifts, site and find out more about giving gifts to help farmers

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