by Cecilia Schubert
In a recently published Guardian article, readers got to see how information and communication technologies (ICTs) are assisting farmers in developing countries to access agricultural information and change their farming practices.
However, a new Working Paper, Delivery models for climate information in East and West Africa, from the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) finds that, even if the use of agriculture information among smallholders is increasing, there is still a significant gap between receipt of information and the actual use of it.
And many farmers still find it difficult to access relevant information for their on-farm decisions. In other words, the mass-production of knowledge and its subsequent dissemination does not alone meet the needs of farmers.
So what is needed to get more farmers accessing and using available information? Read more »
by Timm Tennigkeit and Andreas Wilkes
While there is significant potential for climate change mitigation in the agricultural sector, our recently released research report finds that reducing emissions is also cost competitive.
Many developing countries are actually beginning to recognize low emissions development strategies as a promising pathway to pursue sustainable growth, while protecting their natural capital. Some of them have already prepared low-emission policies and measures in the agricultural sector. Read more »
by Catherine Mungai
The need to harness the value of indigenous ecological and farm knowledge to plan and achieve resilience has been repeatedly raised and emphasized in discussions on food security in a changing climate held at different forums in the East African region.
To address this, the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) East Africa has collaborated with partners to undertake studies focusing on reducing vulnerability to climate change through promising innovations in climate and weather information management in order to enhance rural livelihoods. Read more »
by Catherine Mungai and Tabitha Muchaba
Livestock is the mainstay of livelihood for the Borana pastoralists in southern Ethiopia. Recurrent cycles of drought are a major factor influencing production systems and livelihoods. This coupled with livestock disease, lack of market and low economic development pose major threats to the Borana pastoralist's livelihoods, who make their living mainly from keeping cattle, shoats and camels.
To cope with climate variability, the Borana community of southern Ethiopia are undertaking improved range management practices such as establishment of fenced rangeland enclosures. Read more »
by Catherine Mungai and Vivian Atakos
CCAFS East Africa in partnership with the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the African Climate Policy Centre (ACPC) are leading initiatives aimed at including agriculture into climate change policy discussions at national, regional and international levels.
The initiatives include a series of consultative workshops bringing together climate change and agriculture experts, negotiators from government institutions, universities, research institutions, NGOs, civil society, farmer organizations and the private sector to develop a comprehensive strategy on including agriculture into climate change discussions and to articulate the African needs and aspirations on agriculture.
A workshop held from 13 to 15 February 2013, in Tanzania, brought together 19 delegates to review the outcome of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties (COP 18) held in December 2012 and to prepare for the Bonn climate talks planned for June this year. Read more »
By guest blogger S. Gopikrishna Warrier
What can be done today to protect South Asia’s agriculture from climate change impacts occurring in 2020?
To find crafty and viable solutions to this question, experts from Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka joined forces with the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) South Asia, in Dhaka, Bangladesh in late February of this year. Read more »
by Kristi Foster
Livelihood- and climate focused agricultural practices help farmers to sustainably increase their farm productivity and build resilience to climate change, while contributing to mitigation. But how does this type of farming — commonly known as climate-smart agriculture or CSA — interact with gender in real-life communities?
In the newly released policy brief, Addressing Gender in Climate-Smart Smallholder Agriculture researchers from CARE International, the CGIAR Research Programme on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) and the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) share their insights on gender. The brief highlights the importance of a flexible learning approach in advancing gender equity goals and improving outcomes for farmers and projects.
The Sustainable Agriculture in a Changing Climate (SACC) project, on which the policy brief is based, has gleaned several important insights into gender and CSA: Read more »
by Hilde Zevenbergen
Tamil Nadu is a state in Southern India that sets itself apart from other agriculture-dependent regions, as it has historically performed rather well when it comes to agricultural production. One reason is that here, farmers are relatively more responsive and receptive to changing technologies and market forces.
To learn more about these farmers' adaptability to new technologies and potential experiences with crop insurance, especially from community-based crop insurance structures, researchers ventured out into Vellore, a Tamil Nadu district. The objective was to find out if climate insurance schemes could be a viable instrument to help farmers manage ongoing weather related risks, and how it has been used up to now in this area via community-based insurance activities.
The initial findings from the field study show that even if insurance schemes could be a solution to decrease vulnerability and ensure income stability, farmers’ awareness of the product and its functions need to be strengthened in order to make sure it is used efficiently. Read more »
By Abrar Chaudhury and Chase Sova
On any given Wednesday afternoon, on the hot and dusty road connecting Orbili Village to Lawra, a small bustling district city in upper west region of Ghana, there is an unusual commotion.
Trucks, buses, and motorcycles periodically speed past the roadside shops of Orbili, greeting residents with a customary honk and a wave. As the dust slowly settles, a trickle of slow moving bicycles appear trailing the convoy. Their speeds and cargo capacities may be different, but they are all transporting the same goods – livestock purchased 20km up the road from the border towns of neighboring Burkina Faso for onward sale in markets of wealthier metropolises in South of Ghana.
So what is the rational and economics behind this weekly movement? As any finance professional would be proud to explain, two fundamental financial principles are at play here - diversification and arbitrage. Read more »
by Bruce Campbell
Last year was an exciting time for us, as our targeted research unfolded into actions on the ground. Successful outcomes, as well as outcomes-in-the-making, can now be reviewed in our newly released 2012 Annual Report: Unfolding results: CCAFS Research into Action.
For the last two years, CCAFS has had the opportunity to operate as a CGIAR Research Program. During this time, we have made sure to actively build partnerships and capacity, engage with all the other CGIAR Programs, and ensure that activities across all of our research sites have been targeted.
These strategic measurements have ensured that conducted research is not only assisting smallholder farmers, extension workers and agriculture organizations with climate change adaptation and mitigation, but our research has also been fed into high-level policy deliberations on agriculture and climate change worldwide.
CCAFS science inform policies Read more »
CCAFS Coordinating Unit - University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Science, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Rolighedsvej 21, DK-1958 Frederiksberg C, Denmark, phone +45 35331046; Email ccafs [at] cgiar [dot] org, EAN 5790000279012
Lead Center - International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)