AICCRA Annual Report 2023

In this special feature on AICCRA’s 2023 Annual Report, we highlight how over the last year, outcomes from AICCRA teams in our six focus countries – Kenya, Zambia, Ethiopia, Mali, Senegal and Ghana – and our growing network of national, regional and continental partners have contributed significantly to accelerating the impacts of CGIAR climate research for nearly 4 million African small-scale farmers.

Please explore these stories, and the annual report which is available at CGSpace, the knowledge repository of CGIAR. 

A welcome from AICCRA's Director

Juan Lucas Restrepo, Director General, Alliance of Bioversity International and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), reflects on the highlights of AICCRA's work in 2023 and the partnership between CGIAR and the World Bank

Read more on how the World Bank is Advancing Climate-Smart Agriculture Technologies in Africa through AICCRA


Partner Perspective

Amplifying the role of farmers in Africa’s climate action

Inclusion, partnerships and finance are crucial for accelerating action on the ground, by Elizabeth Nsimadala

Agriculture is pivotal in global efforts in adapting to climate change. It is especially so in Africa.

African farmers must be at the heart of the food systems transformation we seek.

Without smallholder farmers involved in the conversations, policy decisions and action plans for African agriculture, there will be no meaningful action and change on the ground.

Inclusive and strategic partnerships and affordable finance are vital in enabling farmers to adopt and use climate-smart technologies and practices like those supported through AICCRA.  

AICCRA partnerships have been actively engaging with regional organizations—like the Eastern African Farmers Federation (EAFF)—to bridge the gap between CGIAR research and farmers.  

In both 2022 and 2023 AICCRA supported our Federation in crafting a common position statement for—and with—African farmers that we took to COP27 and COP28 respectively. AICCRA has also supported us with the production of knowledge products needed to strengthen our understanding of key climate issues and inform our advocacy and policy engagements at national and global levels.

While our partnership thus far has focused on supporting farmers in policy and advocacy issues, we know AICCRA’s work on the ground is helping farmers access and take up climate-smart innovations.

I am thrilled that AICCRA has so far reached 7 million farmers, and it fills me with joy to see AICCRA partnerships build upon our different strengths.

The stories from AICCRA’s 2023 Annual Report serve as an example of the scale of impact possible when efforts are:

and farmer-focused.

I cannot stress that final point enough.  

Putting farmers at the centre of our efforts is mission critical.  

So, we are pleased that the continued support of the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA) to AICCRA means we can look forward to deepening these partnerships in the years ahead.  

This way we can — together — ensure farmers in East Africa and across the African continent access and use CGIAR innovations on the scale needed to respond to the climate crisis.  

Elizabeth Nsimadala, President, Eastern African Farmer’s Federation (EAFF)

EAFF comprises 24 farmer organisations from 10 countries. EAFF’s members, farmer associations, co-operatives and commodity associations represent over 25 million farmers across East Africa, focusing on areas of work related to climate adaptation, resilience building and the promotion of sustainable production systems.


Working closely with partners to scale African-led climate action for the continent



Sharing climate-smart tools, trainings and resources to enhance capacity and use



Women and youth play a vital role in the uptake of climate-smart practices



Focusing on the policies, practices and technologies needed to foster and scale innovative solutions



Working closely with partners to scale African-led climate action for the continent, by Todd Crane

Partnerships are at the heart of AICCRA’s approach to scaling climate-smart agriculture and climate information services in Africa. By leveraging our combined knowledge, resources and reach, we can more effectively accelerate climate action across the continent. 

A total of 82 partners partner organizations increasingly accessed enhanced climate information services (CIS) and validated climate-smart agriculture (CSA) in 2023, building upon collaborations established in the core AICCRA countries with a growing number of ‘spillover’ outcomes. We also saw eight new partnerships established with universities who are mainstreaming CIS into their curricula.

Since its inception, AICCRA has played a pivotal role in convening robust and cross-sectoral partnerships among Africa’s universities, government ministries, national agricultural research, and extension services (NARES), non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and farmer associations. 

In 2023, these collaborations contributed to embedding climate curricula in Africa’s higher learning systems, disseminating climate information to farmers, establishing early warning systems, supporting innovation events and grant accelerator programs, and informing policy development and planning at national and continental levels.

In their own words

“I want to appreciate the AICCRA project as a model of excellence, because the collaboration between CCARDESA and AICCRA has been exceptional for scaling climate-smart agriculture and climate information services. And it’s a CG[IAR] project, so already there is a model of excellence - they go into our region with us.” 

Cliff Dlamini, Executive Director at the Centre for Coordination of Agricultural Research and Development for Southern Africa (CCARDESA)

For me, a particularly meaningful outcome is the dissemination of targeted agro-climate advisories to 471,000 Kenyan farmers through strengthened engagement with the Kenya Meteorological Department (KMD) and the Kenya Agriculture and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO). 60 percent of the farmers reached through this partnership were women.

Through AICCRA, 11 public and private sector organizations in Ghana mobilized to sign a memorandum of understanding to protect its food system from pest and disease threats. In Senegal, ongoing engagement with the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Equipment and Food Sovereignty (MAERSA) led to the development of a Gender and Climate Action plan.

More than 264,000 farmers in Zambia were reached directly through our Accelerator partners. And in Ethiopia, 72,000 agricultural extension workers were trained on a new curriculum co-developed by AICCRA and partners.

At Africa Climate Summit and COP28, we hosted rich conversations with key regional partners to collaborate on a vision for the future of our partnerships in Africa, ensuring alignment at this crucial point in AICCRA’s journey. 

With the confirmation of additional financing from the World Bank, we’re energized to keep strengthening these partnerships, bringing together multi-sector stakeholders and key agricultural actors to build on a shared vision of a climate-smart and resilient Africa. 

Todd Crane

AICCRA Kenya Cluster Lead

Dive deeper into partnerships


Scaling CGIAR innovation in Africa: Forging new collaborations for greater impact beyond COP28


WASCAL, AICCRA and RUFORUM build capacities towards developing university curricula in climate-smart agriculture and climate information services


After Nairobi: Innovation, partnership and finance to scale climate-smart agriculture in Africa


Making the Africa Climate Strategy a reality through strategic partnerships and investment


One Health, many partners – helping Ghana’s farmers deal with pests and crop diseases


Sharing climate-smart tools, trainings and resources to enhance capacity and usage, by Maren Radeny

Sharing knowledge is a foundation of AICCRA’s approach to scaling climate-smart agriculture (CSA) across Africa's agricultural ecosystem – from providing technical and scientific support to policy makers across scales, engaging in capacity and skills development for agricultural officers, to ensuring CSA technologies and practices are in the hands of farmers.

In 2023, 20,000 stakeholders participated in AICCRA capacity development activities, including trainings, learning workshops, stakeholder dialogues, and technical assistance. About 34 percent of these training participants were women.

The technical support and capacity building activities were supported and complimented by a strong scientific evidence base. The AICCRA teams produced a total of 36 peer-reviewed papers and 154 knowledge products through the year, contributing to the resource base on CSA and CIS for African decision makers in agriculture and climate action.

Notable papers include one on CSA technologies and determinants of farmers’ adoption decision in Ethiopia, and another on designing a participatory framework for prioritizing investments for CSA scaling in rice-based systems using the case study of Mali.

And a wide variety of knowledge products, decision support tools and advisory services were created or enhanced, often in collaboration with national and regional partners, particularly in West Africa where almost three-quarters of these tools were led by partners AGHRYMET, CORAF, RUFORUM, and WASCAL.

A highlight of 2023 was the development of a Climate Risk Management in Agriculture Extension (CRMAE) curriculum with 70 African institutions in a landmark example of ‘South-South’ learning across AICCRA’s six focus countries.

In their own words

“Farmers will no longer be receiving information just from a delivery person, but from a clarifying person to explain exactly how the climate is going to affect them, these are the measures we are going to take, and these are the impacts.... With this training, I feel more empowered, more knowledgeable, and more wise to make decisions—more informed and having a higher likelihood of succeeding in everything that we’re going to do in farming.”

Steven Ondimu, Agricultural Extension Officer, Laikipia County, Kenya

In East and Southern Africa, AICCRA contributed to three Greater Horn of Africa Climate Outlook Forums (GHACOF) working closely with ICPAC, and in Kenya developed activities designed to improve women’s access to digital information. AICCRA Senegal has been working with local actors to develop social media communications for climate information. In Ghana, we reached more than 240,000 farmers through radio programs and ‘listening clubs’ designed for women.

AICCRA teams have also been instrumental in ensuring that climate-smart technologies such as improved varieties of drought tolerant seeds, dual-purpose crops, bundled innovations including Small Ruminant Value Chain Transformation (SmaRT) packs, and affordable, natural solutions to pests and diseases are being introduced to and used by farmers. 

By sharing knowledge, CSA technologies, climate information and learning resources, we’re catalyzing and scaling climate action on the ground, moving from access to use, and ensuring that the impacts of AICCRA’s work will be realized far beyond the scope of the project.

Maren Radeny

Science Officer, AICCRA East and Southern Africa

Dive deeper into knowledge

Innovation story

Foundational curricula for managing climate risks in agriculture forged through collaboration


Out with old, in with new: Climate-smart seed varieties improve maize production in Ghana


From generation to use: Catalyzing climate-smart agriculture through capacity development in Africa


Media school connects African journalists with national and regional institutions to scale climate-smart agriculture


Ghanaian farmers use of natural remedies to protect crops against pests and diseases featured in series 'The Climate and Us'


Women and youth play a vital role in the uptake of climate-smart practices, by Faustina Obeng Adomaa

In 2023, women have continued to be active agents in the scaling of climate-smart technologies and information services through AICCRA activities. Of the 4 million individuals we reached this year, 1.6 million were women.  

We recognize the crucial role women play as climate-smart champions in their communities, take for example Phoebe Mwangangi, a small-scale farmer from Makueni County, Kenya, who joined AICCRA at key climate events in 2023.

In their own words

“AICCRA has brought innovations down the ground like ploughing, ripping, minimal disturbance of the soil, water harvesting....and as a community leader I have helped extend these AICCRA-led practices into neighbouring communities so we can all become more sustainable in food production.”

Phoebe Mwangangi, Lead Farmer, Makueni County, Kenya

Through training for women’s groups and women-led, community-based organizations, the inclusion of female service providers and extension agents in dissemination, and using accelerator programs as scaling mechanisms to support women-led SMEs, 35 CIS and CSA technologies have reached women in our focus areas.

In Mali, the fabrication and use of the GEM parboiling technique resulted in improvements in rice grain quality, and "Savings for Change" clubs enhanced women’s access to finance and increased their CSA investments leading to increased net income by USD 497 per hectare.

AICCRA’s Gender-Smart Accelerator Challenge in Senegal, which focused specifically on gender in the country’s agrifood system, has successfully catalysed USD 4.3 of private investment for every USD 1 invested. Also in Senegal, co-designed advisories with women-led organizations were disseminated to livestock keepers through mobile phones and gender sensitive radio programs, and SenAgriHack, a crowd-sourcing innovation challenge, evaluated proposals and granted winners based on their gender responsive and transformative outcomes.

AICCRA in Ghana led the development of a business model to support women’s access to CIS and CSA bundles through telecoms company Esoko’s novel ‘Grain for phone’ initiative. Across our direct extension activities in Ghana, 39 percent of total farmers we reached were women. 

In Ethiopia, we supported the customized delivery of gender-responsive small ruminant Smart-Pack (including health, productivity, breeding, nutrition, credits, digital marketing) and fertilizer recommendation advisories.  

To share learnings from our activities with others in Africa’s agricultural sector, AICCRA’s Gender and Social Inclusion (GSI) cluster conducted a series of webinars on gender. We also provided training on gender and climate hotspot mapping, training with the World Bank’s Food Systems Resilience Program (FSRP), and held a workshop on women’s leadership in agriculture and climate research with CORAF.

The inclusion of youth is another important dimension of AICCRA’s work. Young people are a vital part of realizing our climate-smart vision for Africa's future. We need to be engaging them in creating and implementing solutions to the challenges facing us.

In Zambia, we hosted a Demonstration Day for the three groups of young startups who participated in our Internship and Innovation Grant (I2G) challenge. Agri hackathons in Senegal and Kenya offered young and upcoming entrepreneurs the chance to pitch, learn from and engage with others in the agribusiness space. 

And during the inaugural Africa Climate Summit, we supported the African Union in hosting the Climate Action Innovation Hub which featured 70 innovators, largely made up of young people and women.

To be climate-smart is to be inclusive. We cannot accelerate action at the scale or pace needed without women and youth in the conversations, at the decision-making tables, and on the frontlines in the fields. 

We’ve made important progress in gender and social inclusion but there is still much to be done. As we prepare for the next phase of AICCRA’s work, we’re committed to working closely with our teams and partners to ensure women and youth are leading the way to a climate-smart Africa with us.

Faustina Obeng Adomaa

Gender and Social Inclusion Expert, AICCRA Ghana

Dive deeper into inclusion


Savings club boosts women farmers access to climate-smart innovations in Mali


Senegal Gender-Smart Accelerator Challenge winner receives scaling investment


In Kenya, The World Bank's Environmental and Social Framework makes technology transfers more inclusive


The private sector is helping to scale the adoption of ‘climate-smart’ aquaculture in Zambia - boosting women’s role one pond at a time


Enhancing inclusion and transformation in agriculture through effective and targeted communication


Focusing on the policies, practices and technologies needed to foster and scale innovative solutions, by Elliott Dossou-Yovo

Innovation is necessary, but on its own is not enough to realize a climate-smart future for African agriculture and food systems. We also need to create an enabling environment in terms of robust policies, accessible finances, widescale access to technologies and the relevant skills for these innovations to be put to their most effective use.

One way we’re doing this through AICCRA is by bundling packages of climate-smart inputs such as advisories for millet and groundnuts in Senegal, drought-tolerant high-yielding seeds in Ghana, feed and forage improved seeds in Ethiopia, participatory rangelands management in Kenya, and solar irrigation in Zambia

I'm proud of the impacts of our scaling work in Mali where a total of 400,199 farmers (43 percent women) in Mali benefited from innovations through AICCRA in 2023. These included the digital platform for climate information services, 'Savings for Change' clubs, Centers for Mechanized Agriculture, scaling integrated climate resilient production systems and the use of the RiceAdvice app. 53,000 farmers were also reached through a platform for water governance in partnership with the Office du Niger (a government agency in Mali that administers a large irrigation scheme) resulting in increased rice production and incomes, the latter up 16 percent.

We’re disseminating climate-smart information and tools to farmers through farmer field days, private sector digital partners such as Lersha in Ethiopia, Jokalante in Senegal and Esoko in Ghana, and through agricultural extension networks who are working directly with farmers in their communities.

In their own words

“The success story from our collaboration with AICCRA is that almost every farmer in the district knows about climate-smart agriculture. Yam mini-sett technology and ridging were first introduced in the district by AICCRA. Farmers have expressed their joy from the knowledge that they can produce more yams on the same small piece of land in contrast with the traditional way of growing yams". 

Zacchaeus Kwarteng, Crop Officer at the Department of Agriculture in Techiman North District, Ghana

During 2023, through AICCRA’s Climate-smart Policies and Practices theme, AICCRA influenced 20 policy and investment decisions for support to continental, regional and national policy development, including the Nairobi Declaration of the Africa Climate Summit, and the Africa Union Fertilizer and Soil Health Action Plan. AICCRA also contributed technical support to decisions in country level early warning and climate services deployment, linking public sector agencies, development partners, and the private sector.

Under the AICCRA Climate-Smart Technologies and Practices theme, several strategic capacity-building initiatives launched for public and private sector stakeholders. Among these were ‘hackathons’ in Kenya and Senegal which fostered innovation and encouraged collaboration between small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), agri-corporates, researchers, and more.

In collaboration with CORAF, 13 gender- and nutrition-sensitive CSA and CIS innovations available for scaling were presented during the 2023 Market for Agricultural Innovations and Technologies (MITA) conference in Burkina Faso. And in partnership with the African Union, 70 young innovators were supported through the Climate Action Innovation Hub.

By fostering local solutions and strengthening the support systems necessary for uptake, we can scale the reach of innovations across Africa. Through our strong partnerships and engagements with local, national and regional organizations, we are closing the gap between science-backed solutions and climate action.

Elliott Dossou-Yovo

Cluster Lead, AICCRA Mali

Dive deeper into innovation


Climate-smart innovations in Ethiopia’s central wheatbelt


Integrating rice and fish farming in Mali, with less fertilizers


How African agribusinesses can attract new investment by leveraging impact measurement in climate adaptation


Enhancing Agricultural Practices: Insights from the Impact of AICCRA’s Kenya Agri Hackathon on Post-Harvest Losses


Scaling gender-smart innovations for better nutrition across West Africa



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