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Aug 24

SCALING-UP CLIMATE-SMART AGRICULTURAL SOLUTIONS FOR CEREALS AND LIVESTOCK FARMERS IN SOUTHERN AFRICA

Approximately 140,000 farmers in different agro-ecological zones of Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi are to benefit from climate-resilient solutions to increase their capacity to adapt to a changing climate over the next 2 years.

The farmers are being engaged through a project titled ‘Scaling-up Climate Smart Agricultural Solutions for Cereals and Livestock Farmers in Southern Africa’, which began in mid-2017 in the three countries.

The project promotes a ‘bundle’ of solutions to climate change including use of stress-tolerant seeds, ICT-enabled weather information service, innovative weather-based insurance and diversification of livelihood options through livestock. The adoption of these climate resilience solutions is anticipated to improve the resilience of farming households, and enhance productivity and food security, especially for smallholder farmers.

After a year of full implementation, the project has benefited over 70,000 smallholder farmers in the three countries. On 28-30 August, the partners implementing the project in the different countries will gather in Zambia for a review and planning working session. The sessions will be used review activities and achievements in the first year of the project, plan for the second year, and promote peer-review and lessons learning on scaling up of CSA in the region.

In all three countries, the private sector is engaged as solution and service providers. At the regional level, the project supports the Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions (SACAU) to test the hypothesis that reinsurance and premium costs of weather-based agricultural insurance are likely to decrease by adopting a regional approach through the pooling of risk across borders. SACAU has recently commissioned a study to explore this proposal and, has initiated efforts to engage with regional economic bodies and appropriate policy institutions to inform on the next actions.

Speaking on the meeting, Professor Richard Siaciwena, the Vice Chancellor of the Zambian Open University, which is leading the consortium of partners implementing the project in Zambia says: “The University is pleased with the innovative public private partnership initiative aimed at stemming the negative effects of climate change in the country. I am confident that knowledge that will be shared among the regional partners and collaborators during the mid-term review meeting will contribute towards steps to bring about resilience of the smallholder farmers in the Southern African region as a whole.

Michael Hailu, Director of CTA states that “CTA recognises the economic importance of the impacts of climate change to agriculture in ACP in general and, to smallholder farmers in particular. That is why we have chosen the building of the resilience of smallholder farmers to climate change as one of our key strategic intervention areas”

Dr Oluyede Ajayi, Senior Programme Coordinator (Agriculture and Climate Change), CTA, who leads the project says: “While there has been much information about challenges of climate change, there is comparably less information on solutions. The project has built a consortium of partnerships with a number of institutions including government agencies (meteorology & climate change departments), farmers’ organizations, insurance companies, mobile telephone operators, and others in the private sector to deliver a bundle of CSA solutions to a target 140,000 smallholder farmers using ICT-enabled extension mechanism.

Mr Moses Siame, Managing Director of Professional Insurance Corporation Zambia Plc (PICZ) says the Corporation is “excited to be part of the project. I am pleased that the project has recognized the significance of insurance which provides a safety net against unfortunate events”.

Mr Reuben Banda, Managing Director of Musika Development Initiatives Zambia Limited notes that “as an organisation that supports private investment in smallholder and rural markets, Musika looks forward to greater role of the private sector to facilitate access of farmers to suite of CSA-relevant inputs, technologies and information.”

Funded by the Technical Centre for Agriculture and Rural Cooperation (CTA), the regional project is implemented by a consortium of partners in three core project countries- Zambia, Malawi and Zimbabwe. In Zambia, the project is working in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture through a consortium consisting of the Zambian Open University (ZAOU), MUSIKA Development Initiatives and Professional Insurance (PICZ). In Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe Farmers Union and Econet Wireless are working collaboratively; while in Malawi, the National Smallholder Farmers Association of (NASFAM) is leading the work through collaboration with the Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services and NICO General Insurance Company.

About CTA 

The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) is a joint international institution of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States and the European Union (EU). Its mission is to advance food security, resilience and inclusive economic growth in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific through innovations in sustainable agriculture. CTA operates under the framework of the Cotonou Agreement and is funded by the EU.

For further information, please contact:

Dr Kolawole Odubote l Project Team Leaderl

School of Agricultural Sciences, Zambian Open University

New Foundland Campus, Unity Road, Off Mumbwa Road, Lusaka, Lusaka, Zambia

Tel: +260-211-845469 l Email: kola.odubote@zaou.ac.zm  l August 22, 2018

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://zaou.ac.zm/index.php/2018/08/24/scaling-up-climate-smart-agricultural-solutions-for-cereals-and-livestock-farmers-in-southern-africa/

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