Photo credit: Kelvin Trautmen, AICCRA

PRESS RELEASE | Zambian farmer heads to COP27 climate summit to demand action for African agriculture and food systems

A Zambian farmer will travel to the United Nations climate change summit next week at Sharm El-Sheikh in Egypt to demand that global leaders commit to supporting more resilient, climate-smart agriculture and food systems in Africa. 

Esther Zulu will travel to COP27 as part of an entourage from a new project called Accelerating Impacts of CGIAR Climate Research for Africa (AICCRA) 

Esther will speak at a number of events, including official side-events hosted by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), as well as events at the first ever official Food and Agriculture Pavilion to be hosted in the history of such UN climate summits. 

Born in Nyimba District in the Eastern part of Zambia, Esther is a member of the Nsenga tribe, and currently lives and farms on property inherited from her parents, who were also farmers.  

Esther is a community leader, serving as Executive Committee Chairlady for the Chitetezo Farmer Federation, who represent 55 farmer cooperatives that focus on improving the cost-efficiency of its community-based supply chain of legumes, in collaboration with Community Markets for Conservation (COMACO). 

Her experience is testimony of social innovation that strengthens local farmers’ business capacity, accountability, and transparency through inclusive business models, with the private sector promoting nature conservation and sustainable agriculture.

Interviewed by AICCRA ahead of COP27, Esther said:  

“Climate change is real and threatens Zambian crop and livestock systems, impacting agricultural businesses and undermining livelihoods.  

All the leaders meeting in Egypt should encourage farmers in various countries to promote climate-smart agriculture, especially restoring the trees that have been destroyed.” 

AICCRA works to scale climate-smart agriculture and climate information services that reach smallholder farmers in Africa. In its latest Annual Report, AICCRA estimates it has reached over a million farmers since starting in 2021. 

AICCRA is supported by a $60 million grant from the International Development Association (IDA) of the World Bank. The project is part of CGIAR, a global research partnership for a food-secure future dedicated to transforming food, land, and water systems in a climate crisis. World Bank support enhances research and capacity building activities of CGIAR’s African partners. 

The AICCRA team in Zambia work to improve water, food and energy security through access to knowledge, technologies, and decision-making tools that strengthen climate resilience in Zambia's agriculture and food systems, often in the face of a hotter and drier climate. 

For example, AICCRA provides local internship programs and accelerator grants for SMEs and entrepreneurs, assessing the challenges to fostering an enabling environment for start-ups in Zambia. The AICCRA Zambia Accelerator Program awards five grants to partnerships formed by Zambian Agri-SMEs.  

Speaking about her partnership with AICCRA, Esther said:  

“AICCRA works with us here in Zambia as partners by scaling actionable climate information services. AICCRA also promotes technologies that enhance gender and social inclusiveness.  

To address the climate challenge here in Zambia, AICCRA improves access to solar irrigation, drought tolerant seed varieties, aquaculture and helps diversify chicken, goat and legume systems. AICCRA also strengthens local capacity by training intermediaries in communicating climate information services.” 


For more information, or to arrange an interview with Esther Zulu, please contact the AICCRA Global Communications and Knowledge Manager Rhys Bucknall-Williams on or call +31619544829 

Accelerating Impacts of CGIAR Climate Research for Africa (AICCRA) will be actively engaged in a number of events and discussions at COP27. More information about AICCRA activities at COP27—as well as profiles of more farmers we work with—can be found at  

Further information 

The 27th Conference of the Parties (COP27) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) takes place in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt November 6-18. 


The theme of this COP is ‘Together for implementation’. It has been billed as an ‘African COP’ as the impact of climate change on African countries’ will be a key theme of discussions.  

Coverage in Zambian media - Revelation TV

Coverage in Zambian media - Muvi TV

Coverage in Zambian media - Daily Mail


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Farmer, Livestock Keeper, Community Leader - Meet Esther Zulu from Nyimba District, Zambia