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 Catherine Mungai, John Recha, Maren Radeny and James Kinyangi
Farming households in East Africa face increasing poverty levels and food insecurity due to challenges resulting from climate change and variability. In order to help farmers in the region to develop resilience to climate change, the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) East Africa initiated participatory action research (PAR) across the six learning sites in East Africa.
The learning sites are located in Kenya, Nyando and Wote, Uganda, Hoima and Rakai, Tanzania in Lushoto, and Ethiopia, Borana. Within the sites, researchers and development partners are working with farmers to test climate smart agricultural interventions that can be scaled up elsewhere. Read more »
By Joost Vervoort and Patti Kristjanson
How can East Africa’s economic, agricultural and environmental policies improve food security, environments and livelihoods given the dynamic global economic and environmental changes affecting the region? What is the role of regional governance bodies like the Eastern African Community in this future? And how can civil society and the private sector work with different policy directions?
To explore these questions, the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) has collaborated with regional stakeholders to develop plausible scenarios, or alternate futures - exploring different socio-economic and political directions of change for East Africa, how these changes interact with climate change, and what their impacts are on future food security, livelihoods and environments. Read the related blog story "CCAFS scenarios engage regions to plan for uncertain futures" for more information.
Now, CCAFS is engaging governments, civil society and the private sector to think about what strategies would be needed to work toward a more food secure, sustainable future. Read more »
Guest Blog by: Chase Sova, visiting researcher on 'Adaptive Capacity under Progressive Climate Change', CCAFS
A few weeks ago the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and CCAFS published a blogpost on Maurice Kwadha (affectionately known as “Maurice the Madman”), an innovative small-scale farmer in Kenya’s Nyando Basin. The post was entitled “Kenya: A glimpse of climate-smart agriculture” quickly went viral and was picked up by Reuters Alertnet. As we get closer to Durban, we thought this to be the ideal time to share more on Maurice and the organizations in the Nyando Basin that have helped to make him and others so successful.
Sub-Saharan Africa more vulnerable than other continents to climate change
Sub-saharan Africa is recognized as highly vulnerable to climate change impacts due to its high levels of poverty and relatively low adaptive capacity. East Africa in particular, where you’ll find Maurice’s farm, is identified as a hotspot for change. He and his neighbors in the Nyando Basin in Western Kenya are already beginning to see the impacts of unpredictable rainfall and increased drought and flood intensity. The task of planning yearly activities has grown increasingly difficult, often resulting in significant crop losses. The consequences on food security are predictably devastating. But Maurice’s story is not one of hunger and despair. Quite the contrary, it’s one of hope. In a region with no shortage of environmental challenges people like Maurice are not only competing with climate change, they’re flat-out beating it. Read more »
by Cecilia Schubert
Newly released results of household baseline survey in Lower Nyando, Kenya shows that changes in climatic conditions in the last ten years have led to subsequent changes in farming practices. The survey, done for the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) was conducted by a research team from the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) and local partners. The survey revealed that families in the area struggle to stay food secure throughout the year. For one to two months every year many households do not get enough food, with some families enduring food insecurity for up to four months. Read more »
Herders in Northern Kenya who have lost their cattle due to the intensive drought are getting their first payments as part of an innovative insurance program known as Index Based Livestock Insurance or IBLI. This was reported by the International Livestock Research Institute who developed this insurance programme together with Cornell University and the Index Insurance Innovation Initiative program at the University of California at Davis. Read more »
Guest blog by Lini Wollenberg, Theme Leader for theme 'Pro-poor Climate Change Mitigation' and Chase Sova, visiting researcher on 'Adaptive Capacity under Progressive Climate Change', CCAFS.
Representatives from government agencies, research institutes, development organizations and civil society came together in June and July to discuss the current status of climate change policy in agriculture and identify research priorities in each of four countries: Ghana, Mali, Kenya and Ethiopia. CCAFS organized the national workshops respectively with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in Ghana, the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) in Mali, the Tegemeo Institute in Kenya and the Climate Change Forum in Ethiopia. Read more »
In this newly released video interview, made by Francesco Fiondella at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI), CCAFS theme leader James Hansen discusses the causes of the current drought plaguing the Horn of Africa. He points out that even if the lack of rain is a root cause of the crisis, it is still only one of many factors that has lead to the ongoing drought. Other factors are on a more long term basis, such as poverty, which leads to vulnerability to climatic shocks and population growth, where many depend on rainfed agriculture for their livelihoods. The environmental issues plaguing the area namely water and soil degradation also exacerbate the situation further. 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)