In most countries of sub-Saharan Africa, a greater segment of rural communities derive their livelihood from crop and livestock farming. Over the decades, effects of climate change, more so greenhouse gas emissions – specifically CO2 – have had diverse consequences on food production.
Livestock, and especially its environmental impacts, have been hotly debated in public, science and policy arenas since more than a decade. The recently published EAT-Lancet report re-fueled the discussion, calling for reduction in consumption of animal source foods for benefits of human health and the environment. However, many voices from across Africa feel that the call for reduction of livestock production and consumption should be much more clearly targeted to industrialized countries, not regions with predominantly smallholder systems and low meat consumption.
To expand its support for young agricultural entrepreneurs, or “agripreneurs,” and to help cultivate the next crop of farmers in Africa, the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) signed a hosting and collaboration agreement with the Climate Smart Agriculture Youth Network (CSAYN) in Kenya. The agreement will have the network’s Kenya chapter hosted at CIAT Africa’s regional office in Nairobi and outlines collaborations.
At the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) we believe that adaptation to climate change should not be driven by a long series of bitter experiences of failed harvests. This is why we are part of the Feed the Future Alliance for Resilient Coffee, a consortium of non-governmental organizations and research institutions working at the intersection of climate change and coffee production.
Caroline Mwongera grew up in a vibrant farm in the slopes of Mount Kenya, a mid-altitude zone where the community grew maize, beans and fruits such as banana, mango and avocado. Despite the pleasant memories, she remembers vividly communities from the lower altitudes, which were semi-arid, coming to ask for food because of drought. These occurrences would arouse her curiosity to understand and address this disparity, where one community had plenty of food and the neighboring community often faced hunger.
Strengthening institutional and human capacity on National Livestock Market Information system in Ethiopia
Even with the largest livestock population in Africa, Ethiopia does not benefit from its livestock resource due to various factors. The absence of strong market information system is one of the key challenges that resulted in a collaboration between the government of Ethiopia through the Ministry of Agriculture and International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) to address this challenge by developing human capacity on national livestock market information system (NLMIS).
What will food systems, agriculture and the environment look like in 2050? Given current trends, there is a range of highly contrasting outcomes
In one scenario, these bedrocks of society will have continued down their current path and faced significantly greater challenges than they do today.
Michael Peters and his team have been developing tropical forage varieties that enable improved animal productivity, better adaptation to biotic and abiotic stresses, while being environmentally friendly, through the mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions.
The GeoFarmer app allows community workers and smallholders to easily collect and share information on climate-related agricultural interventions. Development agencies can use the tool to gather effective feedback and to respond to emergent climate needs.
By combining the latest crop models and local expertise in Vietnam, Uganda and Nicaragua, scientists developed a process to pinpoint where cash crops and food security is most threatened by climate change. The tool can help streamline climate spending
CIAT in Africa
CIAT’s vision of the promise of tropical agriculture is especially relevant to sub-Saharan Africa. Nowhere does the well-being of so many people depend so much on a concerted effort to realize farming’s potential for reducing chronic hunger, opening pathways out of rural poverty, enhancing human nutrition, and improving the management of natural resources. CIAT works especially on the following themes:
- Leveraging markets through improved productivity and competitiveness
- Agriculture for improved nutrition in Africa
- Transforming farms and landscapes for sustainability
- Investment planning for resilient agriculture