16 May 2018. Nairobi. Detailed guides on the status of and opportunities for investment in climate-smart agriculture in fourteen African countries have been officially launched by scientists from the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) at the African Climate-Smart Agriculture Summit.

Based on a scientific framework, the profiles provide a snapshot of the key issues, climate impacts, CSA practices, relevant policies, and financing opportunities for scaling up the promotion and sustained adoption of CSA interventions. Policy and investment recommendations are then detailed by researchers, based on an analysis of current drivers and constraints to adoption the identified practices.

“For many large donors, private sector companies and African governments, investing in African agriculture is still extremely risky. Our data and evidence-based reports aim to reduce that risk, by providing a detailed analysis of the most effective approaches to the sustained adoption of climate-smart agriculture from a local to a national level.” Evan Girvetz, senior scientist at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) who leads the CSA profiles project. “

“Large-scale investments in climate-smart agriculture need to be based on solid evidence that they will provide productivity and climate benefits. Until this work by CIAT, that detailed data did not exist. We are now far better equipped to make financing decisions to climate-proof African agriculture in these countries.” Ademola Braimoh, Coordinator for Climate Smart Agriculture at the World Bank

“There is an insatiable appetite from African governments for up-to-date information on how to implement climate-smart agriculture. In Senegal, the CSA profile is being used to inform national climate change plans and programs. Also, the creation of profiles for three states in Nigeria has been requested by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, demonstrating the high demand for this data West Africa-wide.” Dr. Robert Zougmoré, Africa Lead for the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS).

Stories of successful climate-smart interventions detailed by the CSA profiles in the fourteen countries include:

  • Ethiopia: A system to intensify teff production, which involved seed spacing and the application on organic and inorganic fertilizers, saw yields rise to up to 5 tonnes per hectare, compared to the national average of 1.5 tonnes per hectare. This system has since been scaled out to a million hectares across the country.
  • Zambia: Maize yields in Kafue Town, 35 km from Lusaka doubled thanks to integrated crop-livestock systems that include: adding groundnuts or sugar beans to crop rotations to fix nutrients to the soil; training farmers on supplementary feeding of livestock and treating fields with manure generated on-farm well before the rainy season.
  • Rwanda: Improvement of soil fertility thanks to a land conservation project saw soybeans and maize yields increase by three times, four times for beans, and 10 times for Irish potatoes. Jobs in land husbandry to make the land more resilient to climate shocks (such as hillside terracing) were generated for 22,000 farmers and hillside ponds were established to supply irrigation using renewable hydropower.
  • Tanzania: Introduction of bio-gas digesters has helped farmers reduce firewood and charcoal use, while simultaneously providing a fertilizer and insect repellent for their farms. This has boosted agricultural output, helping farmers achieve up to six times the income as a result.

This post was originally published at PAEPARD by François Stepman. It has been republished here with permission.

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