World Bank commits $100 million at COP28 to CGIAR ‘climate-smart’ agriculture project in Africa

World Bank Group Global Director for Agriculture and Food Global Practice Martien van Nieuwkoop confirmed at COP28 in Dubai that USD 100 Million will be made available by the bank’s International Development Association (IDA) in additional finance to the Accelerating Impacts of CGIAR Climate Research for Africa (AICCRA) project in 2024-2025.

Through the AICCRA project, scientists, and researchers from across CGIAR— the world’s largest publicly funded agricultural research network—support African national and regional partners with scientific and technical capacity development, with the aim of enhancing climate information services and validating packages of technologies, services or practices for agriculture that are validated to be ‘climate-smart’.

Earlier at COP28, World Bank Group Vice President for Sustainable Development Juergen Voegele announced that the bank would make USD 100 million available to CGIAR in 2024-2025 and in his later remarks Martien van Nieuwkoop confirmed the funds would support AICCRA.

So far at COP28, a total of USD 890 million has been pledged in support of CGIAR’s new investment case, placing the future of agriculture at the heart of climate discussions for the first time. With this funding, CGIAR will expand its work supporting smallholder farmers in low- and middle-income countries to shape more resilient, sustainable, and equitable food systems, reduce emissions from farming, and boost access to nutritious, healthy diets. The rate of return to investments made in the CGIAR has recently been calculated to have an overall benefit-cost ratio of 10 to 1 across all CGIAR research.

Through the additional finance of USD 100 million from the World Bank Group for the AICCRA project, CGIAR can continue to build on the project’s achievements so far. By the end of 2023, AICCRA is set to have supported nearly five million smallholder farmers and other African food systems stakeholders with better access to innovations, which help them make informed decisions about how to grow crops or manage livestock in a fast-changing climate.

The project is on track to reach or surpass all the objectives and performance indicators agreed with the World Bank Group at its inception, to reach its overall project objective of strengthening the capacity of African governments, regional organizations, farmers, and other relevant stakeholders to enhance access to climate information services and validated climate-smart agriculture technologies in countries in Africa that are eligible for IDA funds.

AICCRA activities are focused on six African countries—Senegal, Mali, Ghana, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Zambia—while also supporting an array of African regional organizations in West Africa as well as East and Southern Africa. There are compelling examples of AICCRA’s impact across its focus countries and beyond.

For instance, in Mali 150,000 farmers benefited from higher yields and incomes thanks to the adoption of a digital app called RiceAdvice for sustainable rice cultivation, where it was ‘bundled’ with various practices that reduce both demand for scarce water and emissions. Malian farmers increased their income by USD 364 per hectare when using drought-tolerant varieties and following RiceAdvice recommendations.

Munda Makeover is a weekly TV broadcast in Zambia that reaches an estimated 1.9 million viewers. Thanks to ACIRRA support, the team behind the show bring together partners in the development, research, and commercial sectors to develop shows that simultaneously entertain viewers while informing smallholder farmers about relevant climate and agricultural information.

And in Zambia as well as Senegal, science-driven accelerator programs for small and medium sized enterprises are being implemented by AICCRA and partners to ‘de-risk’ investments into climate-smart agri-enterprises, including those led by women. The Zambia Accelerator has reached nearly 390,000 farmers so far and even secured a 200% return on the original project funding from private investors at a Zambia investor forum.

Through training programs delivered on a regional scale, AICCRA has expanded access to—and the use of—a state-of-the art seasonal weather forecasting system known as “NextGen” to 30 countries and the regional climate centers that cover West Africa and East Africa, aligning to AICCRA’s ambition of enhancing—for all farmers— agriculture advisory services that are based on high-quality climate information.

And in partnership with universities and agriculture extension colleges in Ethiopia, AICCRA is supporting partners to mainstream the teaching of climate services and climate-smart agriculture in higher education institutions across Africa. With the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM), such an approach is being adopted in many African countries.

Speaking at an event on the Food and Agriculture Pavilion, Martien van Nieuwkoop said:

“Innovation is critical. Particularly considering that agriculture is already in uncharted territory, where you look at the effects of climate change. In our dialogue…. what we see is that governments only invest about 0.3, 0.4 percent of agriculture GDP in agri-research and innovation. Our benchmark is one percent, so we try to push governments to scale up their public support for ag-research and innovation.

At the same time, we are also putting our money where our mouth is which was also reflected last week when our Vice President for Sustainable Development Juergen Voegele announced the additional $100 million that the bank will provide to the CGIAR in 2024 and in 2025 to the Accelerating Impacts of CGIAR Climate Research for Africa project—the AICCRA project as we say it.”

Speaking after Martien’s comments at COP28, AICCRA’s Director Dr Ana Maria Loboguerrero said:

"I am thrilled that the World Bank wishes to continue supporting AICCRA’s mission. The unique approach of our partnerships solves what many argue is the ‘missing middle’ between research and development to strengthen the resilience of the agricultural sector to the threat posed by climate change. AICCRA has made important progress in forging relationships of trust and collaboration between public and private sectors—and crucially farming communities too—enabling CGIAR scientific resources to be used in policy and practice. With additional finance, AICCRA will not only focus on broadening access to innovation, but also ensuring millions of farmers actually use such innovation in a meaningful and sustainable way.” 

Juan Lucas Restrepo, Global Director of Partnerships and Advocacy at CGIAR and Director General of the Alliance of Bioversity International and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) said:

"I am hugely thankful to our partners in The World Bank for their continued and visionary support to the world class research and capacity-building activities carried out by the CGIAR centers with national and regional partner organizations in Africa. Our goal is to enhance access to climate information services and validated climate-smart agriculture technologies across the continent. This additional finance to AICCRA will allow us all to build on the compelling legacy of the project since it launched just a few years ago."

Further details

The World Bank will make an additional US$100 million available to CGIAR between 2024 and 2025 through its International Development Association (IDA) to the Accelerating Impacts of CGIAR Climate Research in Africa project.

The International Development Association (IDA) is a development finance institution which offers concessional loans and grants to the world's poorest developing countries. The IDA is a member of the World Bank Group.

The additional finance from the World Bank Group would be made available to AICCRA in two tranches. Firstly USD 40 Million (2024-2025) and then secondly USD 60 Million (2026-2028).

Accelerating Impacts of CGIAR Climate Research for Africa (AICCRA) is led by the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT, a CGIAR research center.

CGIAR, the world’s largest publicly funded group of agrifood systems research centers, is a global research partnership for a food-secure future, dedicated to transforming food, land, and water systems in a climate crisis. It has more than 9,000 staff working in over 80 countries alongside more than 3,000 partners.

The full list of AICCRA principal partners is available at

Martien van Nieuwkoop was speaking at a COP28 event on Saturday 9 December entitled ‘From commitment to action: How can existing initiatives and tools help advance the COP28 Food Systems Transformation Agenda?’ at the Food and Agriculture Pavilion. You can watch it here:

World Bank Vice President for Sustainable Development Juergen Voegele made his remarks about additional finance for AICCRA at a COP28 event on Saturday 2 December 2023 hosted on the UAE national pavilion entitled ‘Dialogue on the Power of Partnership Platforms to Deliver COP28’s Food Systems and Agriculture Agenda’ featuring CGIAR Executive Managing Director Ismahane Elouafi, Bill Gates, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment Mariam Almheiri, and Minister of State of the United Kingdom for Development and Africa Andrew Mitchell MP.


All media enquiries should be directed to Rhys Bucknall-Williams, AICCRA Global Communications and Knowledge Manager


WhatsApp: +31619544829