Capacity development and innovative communication


Open data help countries to act on climate change

Southeast Asia
South Asia
Priorities and Policies for CSA
Climate-Smart Technologies and Practices

If we are to successfully tackle threats to food security, much more robust climate and agricultural data – including data from smallholder farmers in tropical, developing countries – is needed. CCAFS, along with CGIAR, is taking bold steps to make data freely available and usable to scientists and policy makers around the globe.

“Farmers need to plan for the short and long term, and climate change throws a major wrench in the works,” said Andy Jarvis, a senior scientist at CCAFS. “Ten years ago, we struggled to find the data to understand climate change and its implications for agriculture. Today, the challenge is to harness data’s power to give farmers real advice on how to manage climate more effectively.”

CCAFS maintains 19 open access databases, which were used by 60,000 different users in 2016. Scientists also contribute to scores of other databases and use the CCAFS data management support pack to ensure that information and data products are available for long-term use by partners and the scientific community. Together, the big data forms the basis of increasing numbers of analyses by scientists and policy makers alike.

The CCAFS-Climate portal is a comprehensive portal that provides users with high-resolution climate datasets that can help assess the impacts of climate change on biodiversity, agricultural and livestock production, ecosystem services and hydrology, etc. The portal is freely accessible online and the data is easy-to-use, regularly updated, and widely accessed by policy and decision makers, researchers, donors, and NGOs.

The CCAFS-Climate portal.

By December 2016, almost 1,700 institutions from 185 countries had used the portal for a range of purposes, including helping countries and institutions.

In Timor-Leste and India, the CCAFS-Climate portal is informing government programs for climate-smart practices.

Timor-Leste, with a population of approximately 1.2 million, is a largely agrarian society where agriculture accounts for one-third of GDP, and where food security is an ongoing country-wide problem. In 2016, the government of Timor-Leste faced an extreme drought during El Niño. Informed by research from the ACIAR-funded Seeds of Life program (and based on data from the CCAFS climate portal), the government allocated US$12million to purchase reserve food stocks and prevent a food crisis.

Similarly, in India the government launched the 'Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana' (PMKSY) program that was partly informed by research based on CCAFS’ climate data. The PMKSY program focuses on micro-irrigation to obtain 'more crop per drop' and other sustainable practices. Climate information accessed through the CCAFS-Climate portal contributed to assess the future agricultural water demand in different locations, and the results were used to help the Department of Agriculture develop a long-term demand-driven irrigation development plan for all districts in India


  • International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)
  • International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)
  • International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
  • International Water Management Institute (IWMI)
  • CCAFS-Climate portal: Harvest Choice, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), United States Agency for International Development Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Integrated Pest Management
  • Timor Leste: Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Ministry of Public Works, Ministry of Social Solidarity, Seeds of Life program
  • India: Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, Indian Council of Agricultural Research - Indian Institute of Soil and Water Conservation, Dehradun (ICAR-IISWC), Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIMA), Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IITD), state agriculture departments