|Food security in a changing climate in Tajikistan|
To better understand the complexity of climate change impacts in mountainous Tajikistan, CARE used a participatory process to determine how climate-related risks were affecting residents’ well-being. The major changes observed by surveyed households included increasing snow pack, a shifting and lengthening of the winter season, and increasingly erratic rainfall.
All of these observations are consistent with the meteorological data for the area, providing an excellent opening to introduce the topic of climate change to target communities.
Armed with a clear understanding of climate impacts on household livelihoods, the project identified those household-level adaptation strategies most likely to reduce the impact of climate-related shocks and stresses. When designing adaptation strategies, we focused on women, because of their vital contribution to family well-being, and their greater vulnerability.
Cold frames were distributed to especially vulnerable households in the target communities. These simple wood and glass-frame structures act as small-scale greenhouses for growing herbs and vegetables. They are ideal for parsley, basilica, green onions, radishes, carrots, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, cabbages and turnips—even strawberries.
By sheltering seedlings from inclement weather, cold frames help community members start seedlings earlier in the spring and increase the growing season. Some households are successfully growing cold-hardy vegetables such as greens all year round, achieving up to four harvests per year. The result is increased food security for vulnerable households during the difficult winter season.
CARE is grateful to the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) for supporting The Adaptation to Climate Change in Tajikistan (ACCT) Project. The project is now complete.