Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Stimulating Collective Action to Scale-up Climate Smart Agriculture (SCA) Practices in Africa

A well-attended back-to-back CSA and FS CSA workshop kicked off at the World Agroforestry Center in Nairobi, Kenya today 31st March 2014. The workshop is co-organized by the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), the NEPADPlanning and Coordinating Agency (NPCA), the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) and the International Center for Research in Agroforestry (ICRAF). The workshop will run from the 31st March to 4th April 2014.
The purpose of the workshop is to stimulate collective action to leverage political (policy), technical and financing support to grass-root, national and regional-level programmes and initiatives to scale-up the adoption of climate smart agriculture (CSA) practices in defined farming systems in Africa. The workshop brings together over 60 experts from 15 countries, sub-regional, regional and international organizations working on climate change issues as they affect agriculture.

A statement delivered at the opening ceremony on behalf of the Executive Director of FARA, Dr. Yemi Akinbamijo noted that Climate Change is an important global externality that calls for a global collective action and that Africa is already experiencing the impacts of climate change that are expected to become more severe. In the coming years, many African countries are likely to experience more severe droughts and declines in water supply, which would further aggravate food shortages on the continent. The statement pointed out that from a research perspective, Climate Smart Agriculture as a solution, should be an integral part of Africa’s economic transformation process. It noted further that there is need to generate data and research outputs to support evidence-based policies that promote adoption of CSA practices; and that the increase in production expected from adoption of CSA should be driven by sound strategic analysis and foresight, enhanced CSA capacity building and an enabling policy environment for implementation of CSA initiatives.

Participants at the workshop are expected to discuss the relationship between evolving Climate Smart Agriculture and Africa’s economic transformation; discuss local political economy factors and drivers that promote or hinder the adoption of CSA practices; deliberate on the effectiveness of CSA policies and how they could be improved through evidence-based policy design; examine successful CSA initiatives, reasons for success, lessons learned and options on how they can be up- and out-scaled. Participants are also expected to develop a framework for a common African-aligned application of CSA as well as agree on a set of guidelines to identify and measure the implementation of CSA in Africa.

Before closing his statement, the Executive Director expressed FARA’s appreciation to the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation for funding the project on Research to Support Accelerated Scaling of Climate Smart Agriculturethat FARA and its partners are currently implementing.