(ICRAF - WA) Building resilient agro-sylvo-pastoral systems in West Africa through participatory action research (BRAS-PAR).

Photo: O. Girard (CIFOR)

Project description

This project seeks to develop up-scalable technological and social innovations of climate-smart agriculture integrating crop-livestock-tree systems through improved understanding of farmer's perceptions and demands, by addressing barriers to adoption taking into consideration gender and social differentiation.

Specific research activities include:

  1. Testing, evaluation and validation of smart models of integrated crop and livestock systems with rural communities and other stakeholders. These systems will improve integrated crop and livestock systems by integrating climate risk management strategies.
  2. Simulation of options for improving water and crop-livestock-tree systems in different climatic and socio-economic scenarios using models (WaNuLCAS, SWAT, etc.) for informed decision-making.
  3. Analysis of the conditions for success and failure of technological and social innovations that favor climate-friendly agriculture. 

In Burkina Faso, Ghana, Niger and Senegal, the private sector, NGOs (including FNGN, Larwaal, ProNet North and Care International), micro-credit institutions, agri-dealers and rural radios all help to scale up the innovations of climate-smart agriculture in the face of climate change.


Women were involved from the beginning as they represented at least 30% of farmers who participated to the technologies inventory and assessment of their smartness using defined criteria in link with the three pillars of CSA. Their involvement at this stage helped identified practices that women are willing to pursue.


The project is led by the World Agroforestry Center (ICRAF) in collaboration with the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and CCAFS West Africa.

Further information

For further information, please contact project leaders Jules Bayala (ICRAF) at and Augustine Ayantunde (CIFOR) at

Project Activities

This activity will cover the following aspects:

1. Multi-stakeholders engagements to inventorize promising climate smart crop-livestock-agroforestry practices and to prioritize practices for testing.
2. Assessment of needs to build the capacity of the stakeholders in adaptation planning to promote climate smart agriculture. 3. Analysis of promising crop, livestock and agro-forestry value chains.
4.Generate accurate and relevant climate information and assess the impact of its use in planning agricultural activities

1. Participatory design, testing and monitoring of transformative climate smart water and crop-livestock-tree gender sensitive and specific options (agroforestry, water harvesting, livestock nutrition).

2. Modelling response of integrated crop-livestock-agroforestry options under different climate change and socio-economic scenarios.

3. Feedback workshops on results from participatory action research.

4. Developing support tools, approaches (including strategic engagements and partnerships) and guidelines for climate smart agriculture targeting/prioritization and local adaptation and investment planning

1. Baseline and endline surveys to characterize changes in knowledge, attitude and skills of the farmers in the climate smart villages on adaptation planning and on integrated crop-livestock-agroforestry options to promote climate smart agriculture.

2. Assessment of the socio-economic and institutional conditions of success-optimization and failure to adoption of incremental climate smart water and crop-livestock-tree technological options

In the context of increasing climate variability and uncertainty, access to and use of reliable climate information to inform decisions in the agricultural sector are becoming instrumental to strengthen farmers’ resilience to climate shocks. Therefore this project will improve climate forecast information using historical climate records, satellite data to complement the weather station data (ENACTS) and predict crop yield (Earth-Audit and SARRA-H models). All these and other past experiences in the region will be capitalized and put into use in a participatory way to support farmers and local communities to plan their livelihood activities, which go beyond agriculture (crop, livestock, and tree). Moreover, the project will involve strong multi-actors’ partnership and the use of ICT to reach larger number of end users quicker and cheaper.

Project Deliverables

  • (D371) Research workshop report, proceedings, workshop summary paper.- List of promising and prioritized climate smart crop-livestock-agroforestry practices for testing

  • (D375) Research workshop report, proceedings, workshop summary paper.- Trainings

  • (D510) User manual, technical guide - Support tools, approaches and guidelines for CSA targeting/prioritization and local adaptation and investment planning