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 Vanessa Meadu
In Vietnam, everywhere you look there is food. Before dawn, people haul away huge bags of produce, meat, fish and flowers to later sell on the city streets. On every sidewalk of every town, people are chopping, washing, cooking food. And from morning to night, folks are eating at makeshift pavement restaurants, or grabbing refreshment from a steaming or sizzling mobile stall, perched on the backs of their motorbikes.
This country takes food and agriculture very seriously, and has made incredible progress in the last few decades, going from importing most of its food to becoming a major food exporter, and a leading global rice producer and exporter. In recent years neglected crops like cassava have become major income generators in Vietnam, contributing to poverty alleviation.
Much of this growth is due to government and international investment in Vietnam's small-scale farmers. But climate change is a hazard to this progress. At worst, it threatens millions of people who depend on agriculture, from farmers in the Mekong Delta to consumers in the Philippines and beyond who depend on cheap rice for nutrition. 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 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 Vanessa Meadu and Cecilia Schubert
Knowledge is power when it comes fighting hunger, food insecurity and climate injustice. This is one of the core premises at the Hunger, Nutrition, Climate Justice conference which kicks off today in Dublin, Ireland. As one of the conference co-organisers, the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) wants to showcase how scientific and indigenous knowledge are being mobilised for positive change.
In Senegal, CCAFS and partners including the Senegalese National Meteorological Agency, the Agriculture Extension Service, and many farmers groups, have developed an innovative and exciting approach to reduce the risks that farmers face as the climate becomes more and more variable: put climate information into farmers hands. Farmers have been involved in every step of the way, helping meteorologists and other specialists package and communicate the information in a way that is truly useful.
Blog story: Putting climate forecasts into farmers' hands, 25 July 2011
Blog story: Following up on last year’s climate forecast workshop – what happened next? 27 February 2012
The CCAFS team is reporting live from the Hunger, Nutrition, Climate Justice conference in Dublin from 15-16 April 2013. Watch live webcasts at www.eu2013.ie and follow updates on the CCAFS blog. Engage with us on twitter @cgiarclimate using #HNCJ.
by Melody Braun
Fish and fisheries play an important role in food security in Bangladesh, as fish represents 58 percent of all animal protein consumption, as well as a good source of vitamins and nutrients. However, natural fish populations depend on favorable environmental conditions that allow them to complete their natural life cycle. Increased incidence of floods, droughts and erratic rainfall, related to climate change, negatively affect species diversity, composition and productivity.
As mentioned in our previous story "Gender attitudes and practices investigated in Bangladesh", CCAFS is currently supporting a WorldFish project, called The Smart Farm. This project is looking at strategies to enhance both the productivity and diversity of fish in the context of a changing climate, seasonality, and patterns of inundation. 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 Yemi Ademiluyi
I tagged along with Jessica Thorn when she went out into the field in search of dry season farms. Jessica, a researcher from Oxford University, is working on mapping project sites in Lawra-Jirapa in Northern Ghana as part of the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS).
In the field Jess is using a combination of quantitative ecological field-testing techniques with qualitative sociological methods. These surveys are used to assess the relationship between ecosystem processes, goods, services and human well being in a changing climate. Read more »
by Jacob van Etten
“So we pulled out the radishes!” We are standing next to a plot with three different wheat varieties in a CCAFS-led Climate-Smart Village in Vaishali district, India. Farmers here are testing out wheat varieties we supplied to them through a climate change adaptation project. “The wheat seeds arrived late, but we still wanted to test them. So we made the space.”
During our visit to Vaishali, it was clear that farmers liked the new wheat varieties. 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)