With the average African farmer’s age hitting nearly 60 years, the sector’s stakeholders have been diligently working to come up with measures on how to attract and retain youth in the sector. There have been a myriad of suggestions, but none of them seemed as attractive as engaging youth through climate-smart and digital agriculture.
Mastercard partners with USADF and CIAT to open up new opportunities for smallholder farmers across Africa
Kampala, Uganda July 10, 2019 – Mastercard has today announced the signing of two public-private partnerships that will extend the reach of the Mastercard Farmers Network (MFN) to millions of smallholder farmers in Africa.
Crops such as bananas, potatoes and cassava are essential to food security in the world’s poorest regions. By 2050, their importance will increase, but climate change and population growth will put unprecedented pressure on production
In 2003, the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) designed a set of long-term trials in Kenya to assess sustainability and productivity effects of a set of management practices. These practices included conservation agriculture (CA), a combination of mulching, reduced tillage, and crop rotation, which has since grown to be widely promoted across Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) with good results.
The 2019 Global Forest Watch (GFW) Summit, held in Washington DC this week, opened with a retrospective on how deforestation monitoring systems have matured since their broad development in the early 2010s. Several Latin America countries have their own dedicated system. While many African and Asian countries have not yet created dedicated systems, they have come a long way in deforestation monitoring. Efforts such as Global Forest Watch, CIAT’s Terra-i system, and others are mature, providing near real-time data that can help governments, NGOs, the private sector, and others monitor and track deforestation across the world.
Building on the success of the Climate-Smart Agriculture Country Profiles, CIAT, together with the World Bank and FAO, is leading an initiative to create profiles for digital agriculture, starting with Argentina, Grenada, Kenya, Turkey and Vietnam.
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.
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