Vivim en costats oposats del món i mai he conegut en persona — però com agricultors que han enfrontat a desastres naturals més importants d'aquest mes, tenim molt en comú.

Vostè probablement ha vist els titulars i notícies informes. A Sud-àfrica, centenars van morir com a cicló Idai estripat a través de Moçambic i Zimbabwe. La mort de peatge segueix en augment. Mentrestant, a l'oest mitjà superior dels Estats Units, seguit de fortes pluges i inundacions massives de neu han causat milers de milions de dòlars en danys a les carreteres, ponts, i la propietat privada a Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, and South Dakota.

These are two of the worst weather-related disasters ever to strike the places where we live and work. While neither of us was directly affected we know lots of people whose lives are forever changed.

We’re both members of the Global Farmer Network, an international organization that brings farmers together to discuss challenges and opportunities, providing us a platform to tell our stories, share our experiences and learn from each other. One of us grows snap peas, arròs, maize and sorghum in Zimbabwe and the other produces corn and soybeans in Iowa. Beneath our superficial differences, it turns out that we share many of the same interests: We both depend on cutting-edge technology, global trade, and good infrastructure.

Now we’re dealing with the effects of unprecedented extreme weather.

Both of us experienced heavy rain and saw roads become impassable, watched as rivers and the sea overtook communities and wiped whole farmsteads away. We didn’t personally suffer like so many others. Parts of Zimbabwe even benefitted from the downpour, which broke up a dry spell.

The people of Mozambique have borne the worst of the weather. A major humanitarian relief effort is now underway. En el curt termini, our focus must be simply on survival: making sure as many people as possible live through this crisis.

Aviat, encara que, our thoughts must turn to recovery and prevention. També podem aprendre una lliçó sobre nostre la interconnexió. L'epicentre de la devastació a Moçambic és el port de Beira — i persones a Zimbabwe comptar amb aquesta ciutat seacoast per importacions i exportacions. Molt temps després les eixutes han retrocedit, tindrem el dolor d'interrupció econòmica addicional.

Pagesos a Zimbabwe i Iowa poden viure un món, però estem tant en les zones litoral i comptem amb la infraestructura per ajudar-nos moure béns i serveis a través de les fronteres i els oceans.

Encara que Iowa i el Midwest veure res com les morts que han afectat el sud d'Àfrica, les persones han patit molt. Hem vist tot pobles inundats, explotacions familiars rentades, medicar acumulant a tot arreu.

No importa on vivim, Si és en un país en desenvolupament o en la nació més avançades del planeta, agricultors saber que no estem només en el negoci de l'agricultura. Estem en el negoci de gestió del risc. Everything we do is about taking advantage of our natural resources and the good opportunities while reducing the impact of the challenges like extreme weather events.

A Zimbabwe, the cyclone will remind us about the proper handling of crops. We can’t just leave grain in the field and assume it will still be there months later, ready for the taking. En canvi, we must put more of it in storage, using driers and silos to protect it from the elements. It would also help to have a better insurance market, so that we can buy policies that allow us to hedge our bets.

D'altra banda, we should invest in seed genetics, so that our crops can enjoy not just the drought-tolerance technologies that we desperately need, but also resistance to floods and salt.

In Iowa and the Midwest, the flooding may teach a lesson in the value of soil conservation. As the waters recede and we move into planting season, farmers who practice no-till and use cover crops may see an immediate return on these investments. These sustainable strategies deserve to become more popular.

What we both need is first-rate infrastructure. This includes roads and rails that help us keep our links to the wider world as well as dams and dikes that improve our water management and guard against ruin.

Sobretot, we must combine resilience with faith. We must remain committed to getting through the worst of times, knowing that the best of times may still lie ahead.

Farmers behold a version of this every year. In the Midwest, we rejoice as bleak winter transforms into vibrant spring. For both of us, it’s the renewed energy and resolve as we begin a new planting season. Despite all the frustrations that can come with agriculture, this may be its great, redeeming joy: We’re always getting to see and experience new life.

* This column first appeared at the Des Moines registre.