On December 21, USAID’s Adaptation to Climate Change in Agriculture project presented a comprehensive report on the findings from three years of testing various effective yet affordable steps farmers can take to reduce their vulnerability to the negative effects of climate change. The project worked with 17 different farmers to determine which adaptive measures were most effective. The report will be made available to the wider farming community, National Extension Аgency, Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Water Economy, Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning, and other educational and scientific institutions.

In his remarks, USAID Mission Director, noted that “Though it is an extraordinary achievement, the global climate change agreement signed in Paris earlier this month by representatives from 195 nations is just the first step in a long journey to get the planet back on track.  Even as we all pledge to cut greenhouse gas emissions dramatically, scientists say we will be dealing with these negative effects for a very long time.  Becoming more resilient to them remains a top priority.”

The Minister of Agriculture and the USAID Adaptation to Climate Change in Agriculture project’s Chief of Party also made remarks before the presentations delivered by the professors from the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences and Food and the Agricultural Institute.

According to the analyses provided in USAID’s recent study on Climate Change Adaptation in the Agricultural Sector, Macedonia can expect extreme temperature variations, less rainfall overall but more frequent short intensive rain that leads to flooding and soil erosion, intensified solar radiation, and an increased demand for water due to the heat. Because roughly half of Macedonia’s rural population is economically dependent on agricultural production, the need for prompt action and practical adaptive methods is pressing.

Launched in April 2012, USAID’s Adaptation to Climate Change in Agriculture project, implemented by the Rural Development Network, is helping farmers maintain their income levels by mitigating the major impediments to optimize fruit and vegetable yields caused by the changing environment.  Project efforts are focused on the Mediterranean zone, including the Vardar region and parts of Strumica and Gevgelija – the agriculturally rich areas that are most heavily impacted by climate change.