‘Climate Smart Agriculture’ (CSA) has been developed as an approach to attain ‘triple wins’ in agriculture through increased agricultural productivity, adaptation (supporting crops to grow in changing climate conditions), and mitigation (reducing greenhouse gas emissions where possible). Many innovative CSA innovations have been developed to help farmers achieve these triple wins. However, mass adoption of these potentially game-changing agricultural approaches by farmers is not happening at the expected rate.
A key finding from previous field studies is that, beyond technical fixes, upscaling of CSA should take into account the policy and institutional environment. Previous field studies have clearly shown that policies play an important role in facilitating CSAs; and that CSAs aligned with national policy priorities are more likely to be successfully scaled up.
The objective of this project on accelerating CSA uptake is to improve resilience, agricultural productivity (food security) and income of smallholder farmers in selected ACP countries through promotion of widespread adoption of CSA practices that are most aligned with national policy priorities.
This initiative aims to support the field scaling up of proven CSA technologies in three countries (Ethiopia, Jamaica and Mali) through the use of ICT tools to facilitate farmer adaptation and feedback on CSA. The proposed countries have been selected based on the challenges they face with drought - Mali and Ethiopia have similar agro-ecological conditions, as well as the presence of organisations with the experience and field structures for project implement implementation.
The key elements for this CSA initiative are improved farming practices/agricultural inputs (including stress-tolerant seeds), climate information and advisory services.
Project activities implemented between 2018-2020 will include:
- Review country NDC policies and engage with (existing) CSA forum to identify national priorities for climate actions and opportunities for promoting CSA
- Digital registration of farmer groups to facilitate ICT-enabled weather and CSA services
- Train farmers and agro-dealers on CSA and ICTs for agriculture
- Facilitate access of smallholder farmers to climate information & advisory services and improved climate-smart farming practices/agricultural inputs
- Facilitate documentation of farmer innovations and feedback on CSA to improve further development of CSA practices
- Market aggregation through existing farmer groups
The project will achieve the following outcomes:
- Increased farm productivity and food security for smallholder farmers under changing climatic conditions.
- Improved adaptive capacity to climate uncertainties for smallholder farmers.
- Engagement of key actors in policy process that support upscaling and investment opportunities for CSA.
Overall, through increased field uptake of CSA, the initiative will lead to improved food security and resilience for 50,000 smallholder farmers in three ACP countries.