Photo credit: AICCRA Zambia/K Trautman

The EastAfrican highlights need for early warning and action

A special quarterly feature in The EastAfrican argues that "Resilient Agriculture has been identified as one of the best solutions for agricultural sustainability, climate change adaptation, and farmers empowerment in Africa".

AICCRA and partners explore a number of topics through multiple articles in the feature, including the role of private sector partnerships to mitigate climate risks, as well as the need to invest in and bolster 'Early Warning and Early Action'. 

In the recent edition of "The Next Big Thing is Africa", a topical special feature of The East African published quarterly, AICCRA and partners explored the urgent need for a transformative approach to agriculture in Africa.

Experts from AICCRA and East African regional partners collaborated on two news pieces.

Read below highlights from the special feature.

Private sector partnerships mitigate climate change risks

A private sector-driven project, Climate Resilient Agribusiness for Tomorrow (CRAFT), empowers farmers to tackle climate risks through co-funded climate-smart business concepts.

With a focus on key value chains, the project supports agribusiness SMEs and cooperatives, providing training, services, and technologies to enhance resilience and productivity.

A CRAFT climate change risk assessments in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda reveal significant climate risks for potato production. Projections indicate temperature increases of 2.5°C and 2.6°C in Tanzania and 2.8°C and 2.5°C Kenya for the March-April-May and October-November-December seasons respectively, by 2050. 

The CRAFT project, which is implemented by an international consortium led by SNV, is collaborating with 56 agribusinesses across seven value chains, including potato, to enhance resilience for farmers and businesses. To achieve this objective, CRAFT has successfully trained over 260,000 farmers through 3,926 farmer field schools.

Additionally, 4,544 extension workers and lead farmers have received specialized training to enhance their knowledge and skills. As a result, more than 131,000 smallholder farmers have adopted two or more climate-smart agricultural practices and realised an increase in incomes.

Accelerating Impacts of CGIAR Climate Research for Africa (AICCRA) is a partner in the CRAFT project. 

Early Warning Systems and Climate Information Services to Manage Climate Risk in Eastern Africa

The East Africa region faces significant vulnerability to the impacts of climate change, with erratic weather patterns leading to severe droughts and floods. The region has witnessed extreme drought conditions, resulting in the loss of millions of livestock, displacement of millions of people, and acute food insecurity. Limited access to climate information services and early warning systems has hindered the ability of smallholder farmers to prepare for and mitigate these climate risks effectively.

To address these challenges and shift from drought management to climate risk management, public-private partnerships are crucial. Governments need to invest in infrastructure and expand knowledge to enhance weather and climate prediction. Organizations like IGAD's Climate Prediction and Applications Centre, World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Regional Office for Africa, African Climate Policy Centre and AICCRA are working towards increasing access to multi-hazard early warning systems in the Greater Horn of Africa.

They collaborate with national and regional governments to implement coordinated efforts and provide technical and financial assistance through the creation of National Frameworks for Weather, Water, and Climate Services.

By strengthening climate information services and early warning systems, the region can improve preparedness, resilience, and response to climate-related disasters. This aligns with the United Nations' "Early Warning for All" initiative, which aims to ensure global protection through early warning systems by 2027. Together, through collective efforts and partnerships, we can enhance the capacity of East Africa to manage climate risks and build a more resilient future.

In addition to the contribution to the special edition on 'The East African', AICCRA Eastern and Southern Africa team and partners co-produced a policy brief on what stakeholders could do better to protect millions of smallholder farmers and livestock keepers from extreme weather and climate crisis.

Read more: Unrelenting catastrophic droughts and successive failed rainy seasons in the Greater Horn of Africa