Decision-ready food security forecasting for East Africa

Photo: Neil Palmer (CIAT)

Project description

Millions of people in East Africa experience threats to their food security from climate events that shock the agricultural system, which is predominantly rain-fed. Under a changing climate, these shocks will only increase in severity and frequency, further destablizing food security in the region.

Current climate and food security monitoring and forecasting systems in the region are rudimentary, limited in scope, and do not fully satisfy the needs of practical users. Research-informed food security forecasting tools can provide accurate and reliable early warning information to enable timely and efficient food security decision-making, which can, in turn, helped protect the lives of vulnerable households from climate disasters and reduce the depletion of assets during climate shocks.

This research examined scientifically sound and user-friendly food security forecasting systems for East Africa and conducted activities around climate information that can enhance the capacity of data providers (e.g.r egional and national meteorological institutions) to meet the demands of climate service beneficiaries.


  • Literature review of existing food security tools and methods.
  • Improved seasonal forecasts with quantitative rainfall amounts, downscaled monthly forecasts and dissemination of downscaled forecasts to national and regional stakeholders. Effectively communicated forecasts to users in the IGAD region, improving the usefulness of climate information in the region. Link:
  • Contributed to improving decision support systems by calibration of DSSAT model to simulate yields of maize and sorghum in Ethiopia and Kenya using gridded climate and soil data at high resolution
  • Workshop for engagement of national and regional partners


This project was led by the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) Ethiopia, in collaboration with the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), ICPAC - IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Centre, Partnership for Economic Policy (PEP) and the World Food Programme (WFP).

Further information

For further information, please contact the project leader, Kindie Tesfaye Fantaye (CIMMYT) at