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 Joost Vervoort
What does the future hold for food security in East Africa? How do uncertain future socio-economic developments, such as changes in the degree of regional collaboration or changes in policies oriented to rural development, change East Africa’s capacity for climate adaptation and mitigation?
The CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) has explored how different political and socio-economic futures for East Africa may affect food security and environmental change in the region, and how this may affect the region’s vulnerability to future climate change. These futures have been captured in four scenarios, developed and used by stakeholders from governments, civil society, the private sector, academia and the media in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Burundi.
WATCH: How scenarios are developed with regional partners
By Lucy Holt
What does empowerment mean? How do you empower people? And which people do you empower? These were some of the questions tackled by a specially convened learning circle at this week's Dublin Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Climate Justice.
We were there to celebrate Ireland's EU Presidency and we were there to inform the post-2015 development agenda, but mostly we were there to learn from each other: to share our experiences and take home practical ideas that we could implement.
In the room were smallholder farmers from Kenya, Malawi, Nepal, and Columbia; development practitioners from the ground and from head-offices; researchers from the social and natural sciences; as well as local and national politicians. Read more »
By Vivian Atakos
Kenya recently launched the National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP) that will guide the transition of the country towards a low carbon climate resilient development pathway.
The plan further encourages people centered development, ensuring that climate change actions support the achievement of Kenya’s development goals. Read more »
by Vivian Atakos, John Recha and Philip Kimeli
Kambi ya Mawe, a village in Wote eastern Kenya, was recently a beehive of activity when hundreds of people attended the first smallholder farmers’ field day organized by the local Ministry of Agriculture personnel in late January.
Researchers and extension agents explained to farmers the need for selecting suitable crop varieties that could help them achieve food security under a changing climate. In addition, farmers, together with the researchers and agents, as well as government officials and development practitioners, moved around on the farms, assessing how well the prepared trials of sorghum, maize, cowpea, greengram and bean intercrops had performed for the farmers. Read more »
by Vanessa Meadu
Small-scale subsistence farmers need good adaptation strategies so they can cope with climate change. Researchers have tried and tested a range of climate-smart tools and approaches, but the range of options can be baffling. Identifying the right adaptation strategy for a particular farming community means testing potential adaptation strategies against a number of variables, such as the the current the socio-economic scenarios of farmers and the expected impacts of climate change
Lieven Claessens, a researcher at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), is leading the way in developing approaches for studying adaptation options. As part of the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), Lieven has been participating in the Agricultural Model Improvement and Intercomparison Project (AGMIP), and he presented results from East Africa at the recent Global Science Conference on Climate Smart Agriculture. Read more »
By Silvia Silvestri and Jane Gitau
The livestock scene in Africa is dramatically changing, with increased population growth, putting pressure on resources, and growing consumption of meat, milk and eggs.
The need for more protein however, has been met through increasing the number of animals rather than improving the livestock productivity. This was noted by Mario Herrero, former team leader at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), who spoke at a workshop held a while back in Nairobi, Kenya.
His recommendations, looking forward, is to concentrate on improving efficiency, in the livestock sector, thus reducing the GHG emissions per unit. Read more »
by Anton Eitzinger (CIAT)
During the month of November last year, several researchers from the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) implemented participatory action research in four of the CCAFS East Africa sites. The participatory research was part of a multi-disciplinary project that aims to combine data on inherent soil properties, as well as ecological and land degradation status of the sites (see Land Degradation Surveillance Framework LDSF) into the development of robust crop suitability and prediction models. Socio-economic data including gender disaggregated data collected from the CCAFS household baseline survey (get data here), supplemented by a questionnaire survey carried out through local partners, will be analyzed to better understand the constraints and opportunities for adaptation. Read more »
by Cecilia Schubert
A recent article by the New York Times reminds us that women in developing countries are increasingly left behind to sustain family farms, as the men migrate to cities in search for work. But discrimination, gender stereotypes and women’s low social status limit their access to fertilizer, seeds, credit, technical assistance and membership in cooperatives and unions. Therefore, there is a great risk that any adaptative response to communities affected by climate change is not complete if gender is not considered.
The need for a gender-focus in adaptation work was also discussed in one of our more recent Working Papers, “Using a gender lens to explore farmers’ adaptation options in the face of climate change” originating from the researchers investigating gender in the context of climate change, food security and agriculture.
Getting to grips with gender in a food and farming context 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)