Projects

CASCAID - Capacitating African Smallholders with Climate Advisories and Insurance Development

Photo: N. Palmer (CIAT)

Project description

CASCAID-II aims to reduce agricultural investment risk from smallholder farm to whole value chains to improve agricultural productivity and food security together with the profitability of agricultural enterprises, in a context of increasing smallholder integration in urban-driven markets. It builds upon experience acquired during the CASCAID-I project, by rooting the development of climate advisories and agricultural insurance in a value chain approach, hence the expanded focus on actors along the value chain (‘next users’) in addition to smallholders (‘end users’).

Specifically, CASCAID-II will work to (i) improve service relevance through embeddedness in phygital data infrastructures that continuously improve stakeholder performance through user feedback loops; (ii) target climate services and CSA options more efficiently through advanced socio-economic and agro-ecological segmentation; and (iii) enhance stakeholder preparedness and decision making through real-time, multi-scale yield forecasting. Promotion of youth entrepreneurship will constitute a key tenet of these infrastructures. Other elements of gender inclusion will be value-chain specific and focus on strengthening gender collaboration across the production and post-harvest stages, and along the harvest quantity-quality continuum. CASCAID-II will link with regional institutions and industrial stakeholders that have agency to transform production systems through policy and investment, and will sharpen focus on the ‘science of delivery’ by implementing operational data infrastructures that excite and grow, wherever appropriate, latent demand for agricultural risk control and transfer solutions. ICRISAT will provide overall project leadership. Project activities and partner engagement will be coordinated by ICRISAT in West Africa and by CIMMYT in East Africa.

Activities

  • Calibration and evaluation of CCAFS Regional Agricultural Forecast Tool (CRAFT/CAM) and development of IT interfaces
  • Identification of priority value chains and scalable CSA technologies
  • Identification of scaling domains (existing and addressable markets)
  • Discussions with communities and selection of beneficiaries
  • Seasonal to inter-annual (SI) and sub-seasonal to seasonal (S2S) climate forecasts
  • Farm level agro-advisories
  • Delivery of advisory services to beneficiaries and feedback

Expected outcomes

  • 8 million farm households with improved access to capital, with increased benefits for women (millions)
  • 40 institutions or major initiatives that use CCAFS research outputs for services that support farm households' management of climatic risks
  • New investments by state, national, regional and global agencies, informed by CCAFS science and engagement
  • Policy decisions taken (in part) based on engagement and information dissemination by CCAFS

Gender and youth

Promotion of youth entrepreneurship will constitute a key tenet of the project. Other elements of gender inclusion will be value-chain specific and focus on strengthening gender collaboration across the production and post-harvest stages, and along the harvest quantity-quality continuum.

Partners

More information

For more information, please contact the project leaders:


Funding for this project is provided by:

Project Activities

This pilot activity builds upon existing initiatives and engages with stakeholders and change agents across scales to achieve effective partnership and ownership. It ensures a collegial site selection process, supports the scaling of relevant information, tactical options and supporting processes tested under #350, 351, 352 in GH/ML/SNl. It expands the use of proven approaches including the CCAFS Kaffrine experience and the PICSA approach. It helps integrate, promote and disseminate better early warning, food security, and farm advisory solutions building on existing tools, e.g. ENACTS, TAMSAT, AgMIP, CRAFT. It seeks convergence with FP1.1 and FP4 projects.

Activities #349 and #351 are complementary. Activity #351 develops the supply side of climate services focusing on next-users, #349 develops demand side working with end-users. Univ. Reading, Agrhymet Regional Centre and ICRISAT are primary supporting partners. Boundary organizations to assist in dissemination and uptake will be identified in PY1 for each target country and district.

This proof-of-concept activity aims to improve:
1. field-scale yield prediction with remote sensing (RS). A RS data assimilation framework will improve in-season SarraH estimates of crops biomass and grain, using BMGF-STARS Mali data. In 2017 we will incorporate fertility management and satellite imagery.
2. real-time forecasting of district-level food security. CRAFT will be calibrated using historical CMDT data (Mali). This will include capacity building to overhaul EWS down to district level. In 2017 we will migrate from hindcasting to forecasting and expand to Senegal.
3. co-prediction of seasonal climate, crop performance. We will establish 3 grass-root co-forecasting networks in the Kaffrine, Lawra-Jirapa and Segou districts, equipped with rain gauges and mobile plans to provide field-level management, rainfall, crop information in exchange for access to market information, other mobile services. Data collected will be used to develop a mobile yield prediction app. This activity will involve NARS, NMHS and private sector.

1. Identify optimal information generating tools and communication approaches: (a) review tools for generating climate-related information, downscaled seasonal forecasts, rain gauge networks; (b) evaluate existing communication approaches (radio, mobile,...) with stakeholders across scales (smallholders, intermediaries, FOs, policy makers). Approaches will include CCAFS-Kaffrine and PICSA
2. Develop capacity of national and regional providers of met. info through training and support to produce and avail historical climate information and to substantially improve seasonal forecasts to station level
3. Improve merging of satellite and ground-truth climatic data. Researchers on ENACTS and TAMSAT work together to deliver historical and near real-time information on daily basis for locations with and without ground-based observations.
4. Develop, pilot and scale sustainable ICS for smallholders using above and partnerships established in #346. Establish pilots in Ghana, Mali PY1-2 and then scale out PY3-4. #346 to support scaling activities.
5. Support #346 on evaluation process design and results analysis.

Ghana: Further strengthen focus on customised material for index design and integration of index insurance into larger institutional frameworks using PPPs with GAIP and GhanaMet (linking with #351). Key activities include drawing together key partners, initiating farmer led discussions and farmer led programme design (and assessing how these participatory processes can be operationally scaled), agro-meteorological assessments of indices, an assessment how tools such as crop models can be used for insurance development (building on CCAFS-AGMIP research), building stakeholder networks and sustainable business models.

Senegal: focus on information flows for index insurance and role of PPPs. Investigate how to ensure effective collection and communication of qualitative, quantitative, historical or "real-time", observations, model-derived information between various stakeholders. Assess how mobile and crowdsourcing can be used with index insurance. 2015: assess current information use in existing index insurance projects, draw together key partners. 2017+: develop information platforms and services for operational insurance programs.

1. Setup HR, steering committee, communication plan & procedures, engagement objectives vis-a-vis other Flagship and bilateral projects.
2. Initial planning and engagement meeting: discuss and agree on detailed annual work plan targets and reporting deadlines, sub-agreements.
3. Yearly review, learning and planning meeting (02/16): annual internal project reflection, learning and documentation event - adjust project activities. Preparation of yearly reporting to CCAFS.
4. Yearly review, learning and planning meeting (02/17): annual internal project reflection, learning and documentation event - adjust project activities. Preparation of yearly reporting to CCAFS.
5. Yearly review, learning and planning meeting (01/18): annual internal project reflection, learning and documentation event - adjust project activities. Preparation of yearly reporting to CCAFS, plans for project follow-up
6. Yearly review, learning and terminal meeting (11/18): annual internal project reflection, learning and documentation event - adjust project activities. Preparation of final reporting to CCAFS.

CCAFS and ANACIM have worked in Kaffrine (since 2011), Thies, Louga and Diourbel (since 2013) to test the design and communication of downscaled, probabilistic seasonal forecasts, and to evaluate their impact on farmers’ management and livelihood outcomes. After four years, this activity aims to scale lessons learnt from ground experimentation with URAC and the estimated 2 million farmers reached through this initial experience, to the whole country with the following specific objectives:
1) Consolidate the finding on risk management interventions in the sites of Kaffrine, Thies, Louga and Diourbel during recent years through co-production of climate information products and tools with farmers;
2) Train the network of rural radio communicators to understand and be able to communicate seasonal and intra-seasonal forecast information to farmers communities; this will also include the documentation of indigenous knowledge on climate forecast by farmers in each site.

In September 2014, Nigeria's Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) has announced plans to provide insurance to 15 million farmers by 2017. CCAFS will organize a planning workshop and a high-level panel event, and produce a background paper to contribute to the design and development of this program. The 1-1/2 day workshop will focus on (a) lessons and evidence to strengthen the roll-out of insurance in 2015, (b) exploring opportunities for CCAFS to add value in implementation of the Planting for Peace Program, and (c) briefly discussing other areas of potential FMARD-CCAFS collaboration. The 1/2-day high-level panel will showcase Nigeria’s insurance program with a few major international stakeholders and DfID in particular. A background paper will provide guidance on the challenges of implementing the insurance program, drawing on experience from successful agricultural insurance initiatives in Africa and India; with emphasis on immediate issues surrounding the 2015 roll-out.

Project Deliverables

2015
  • A workshop on sustainable index insurance design for Ghana

  • background paper on rolling out agricutural insurance in Nigeria

  • Workshop on "Evidence-Based Insurance Development for Nigeria’s Farmers"

  • Assessment of existing information flows and multi-input communication for index insurance in Senegal

  • Analysed historical climate data for 7 stations in northern Ghana

  • Prototype system for merging gauge and satellite data

  • Setting up partnerships and CoP

  • Setup of dedicate human resources, steering committee with rotation schedule, communication and collective learning plan

  • Initial planning and engagement meeting (Jan/Feb 2015)

  • Eliciting district-level portfolios of climate services-smart [options x context] through participatory action research

  • Yearly review, learning and planning meeting (2015)

  • Materials for gender sensitive index insurance design and participatory farmer led climate discussions

2016
2017
2018