Entrepreneurial farmer Bekelech Belcachew who restored the soils on her plot by installing water harvesting.


Entrepreneurial farmer Bekelech Belcachew who restored the soils on her plot by installing water harvesting.

Credit: © 2015 CIAT/GeorginaSmith
The AICCRA-Ethiopia team builds ground-breaking partnerships to deploy the knowledge, innovation and technology needed for effective climate information services and climate-smart agriculture in Ethiopia. 

Agriculture remains central to the livelihoods of millions of people in Ethiopia, and our activities aim to enhance the resilience of farmers and their communities to climate change.

By strengthening the technical, institutional and human capacity of national institutions, the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Education, Ethiopian Agricultural Research Institute, Ethiopian Meteorology Institute, Addis Ababa University and other relevant actors, we are supporting efforts to more effectively deploy climate information services (CIS) and validated packages of technology and innovation for climate-smart agriculture (CSA).

To date, AICCRA Ethiopia has benefited 450,181 smallholder farmers and extension agents in accessing climate information services and validated climate-smart innovations and technologies through a robust partnership of CGIAR centers with ministries, national agriculture research systems, private sector players and international development partners.


User-centric bundled climate information services and digital ag-advisories

AICCRA partnerships and activities led by the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) are using innovative decision-support tools, like Lersha, designed for smallholder farmers to turn climate information into actionable knowledge by making climate-informed agro-advisories, information on farming inputs, mechanization services and financial services accessible.

Green Agro Solution developed Lersha (meaning ‘for agriculture’ in Amharic), an application that serves as a comprehensive one-stop-shop service to smallholder farmers. The digital platform has so far reached more than 229,000 smallholder farmers through 6,968 private and public extension agents.

The ‘user-centric’ app has an API linkage to EDACaP to generate agro-advisories in the wheat value chain and makes them accessible for smallholder farmers. These advisories include seasonal planting dates, fertilizer recommendations produced by CIMMYT and the Alliance Bioversity-CIAT in Ethiopia, as well as warnings of expected pests and diseases. Bundling these advisories with access to farm inputs, mechanization providers, and financial services is helping farmers make holistic informed decisions that improve productivity and, in turn, incomes and food security.

An agricultural extension agent is supplying valuable inputs for a farmer in Ethiopia's central Wheatbelt. Photo Credit: Green Agro Solution. 

Strengthening Ethiopia’s climate information services ecosystem

The demand for reliable climate information and decision-making tools in Ethiopia is increasing due to the frequency and severity of extreme weather events and the changing nature of the climate. With AICCRA's support, Ethiopia’s Meteorology Institute (EMI) is developing its technical, institutional, and human capacities to provide timely, high-quality climate services that meet this demand. For example, the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI) and World Meteorological Organization Regional Office for Africa now bring world-class climate knowledge to EMI to improve the availability, access, and use of verified and accurate climate information. EMI is a crucial link to disseminate weather, water, and climate data to farmers and livestock keepers.

With IRI and ILRI, we support numerous capacity-building activities to enhance the technical capacity of Ethiopia’s new generation of weather and climate forecasters. These include training on the Enhancing National Climate Services Initiative (ENACTS) and ‘Maprooms,’ as well as a Climate Data Tool (CDT) and an Automatic Weather Station Data Tool (ADT).

The Enhancing National Climate Services Initiative (ENACTS) integrates on-the-ground weather station data, satellite weather estimates, digital elevation models, and climate reanalysis products to produce high-quality, high-resolution datasets which is made accessible through country-specific online platforms called 'Maprooms', making it easy for users to access and visualize ENACTS data.

An AICCRA-led partnership between the International Research Institute for Climate and Society, International Livestock Research Institute, Ethiopian Meteorology Institute, Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has launched the NextGen Agricultural Drought Monitoring and Warning System (NADMWS) to help Ethiopia’s national and local policymakers monitor agricultural hotspots for water stress.

Using NextGeneration (NextGen) seasonal and subseasonal forecast methods and tools, EMI provides timely and customized information on climate trends, including rainfall and temperature, in Ethiopia. Furthermore, AICCRA is facilitating the introduction and testing of the WRF-Hydro model for what is to become the first flash flood forecasting system in the country.

“EIAR is adamant about promoting digital agriculture and cascading training to ensure pragmatic solutions on the ground. By working with partners like all those involved in AICCRA, we can ensure that drought research efforts are adequately supported and well integrated within decision-making as we see with this new platform.”

H.E. Dr. Diriba Geleti, Deputy Director-General of the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research

Co-developing an Integrated National Ag-Data Hub

With the Alliance of Bioversity and CIAT, AICCRA Ethiopia has been working in line with the Digital Agricultural Extension and Advisory Services (DAEAS) Roadmap 2030 to develop Ethiopia’s first Integrated National Agricultural Data Hub (also known as Ag-Data Hub).

This project integrates data from various disparate, fragmented, and often independent systems and platforms available within the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), National Agricultural Research Systems (NARS), CGIAR centers, and other partner organizations at the federal and regional levels, linking more than 22 mini-data hubs in Ethiopia with national partners. Examples of the prominent mini-data hubs include Ethiopia’s Digital Agro-advisory Platform (EDACaP), Ethiopia’s Digital Seed System (Ethio-Seed Data Hub), Ethiopia’s Small Ruminant Data and Information Management System (Dtreo) and Ethiopia’s Digital Fertilizer Data Hub.

The integrated Ag-Data Hub, hosted at the MoA, serves as a data repository and sourcing hub, enable the various mini-data hubs and independent platforms to exchange data, and help as a stratified open-source data extraction, aggregation, analysis, and innovation platform to develop decision support tools for agriculture, early warning systems, food, and nutrition security monitoring.

This activity is in collaboration with the MoA, EIAR, the Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Institute (ATI), and a consortium of partners such as the Alliance of Bioversity & CIAT, CIMMYT, ILRI, ICARDA, and ACATECH.

A female farmer benefits from a community-based breeding program in Southern Ethiopia. Photo Credit: Apollo Habtamu/ ILRI

Gender-responsive bundled small ruminant innovations (SmaRT Packs)

AICCRA Ethiopia is working to create an enabling environment for farmer cooperatives, ensuring an increase in productive animals, higher income for men and women and job creation by reaching smallholder farmers and livestock keepers while contributing to 87% increment in their productivity yield and household income in four major regional states

Livestock, especially small ruminants like sheep and goats, are essential for rural livelihoods. They provide food, manure, and income and are adaptable, resilient and can thrive in diverse environments. The Small Ruminant Value Chain Transformation (SmaRT) pack is a set of innovations led by ICARDA and is being scaled by AICCRA in four regions in Ethiopia. Building on the success of the Community-Based Breeding Programs (CBBP), the SmaRT pack offers end-to-end services along the sheep and goat value chains to increase productivity, reduce risk, create a sustainable market, and as a result, improve livelihoods, & incomes, and assets, especially for women in Ethiopia.

Through Ethiopia’s Ministry of Agriculture, Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research, regional agricultural research centers, and national university platforms, a gender-responsive bundled SmaRT pack was made accessible to close to 80,000 livestock keepers with 4,000,000 sheep and goats and 240 extension agents in the Amhara, Oromia, South and Southwest regional states.

Climate-smart landscape in Doyogena, South Ethiopia. Photo Credit: Ayalneh Mulatu/ ILRI

Bundled climate-smart agriculture technologies for rehabilitating degraded landscapes

The Doyogena, Kacha bira, Hadero and Duna areas of the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ (SNNP) region are known for their steep slopes and high rainfall, which make them highly susceptible to soil erosion. Climate change is leading to higher variability in rainfall intensity, water stress, deforestation, soil erosion, severe land degradation and fragmentation, declining soil fertility, shortage of livestock feed, and increased incidence of crop and livestock diseases and pests.

A collaboration between Inter Aide, AICCRA, EMI, the National Disaster Risk Management Commission, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Health, the Fana and Ethiopian broadcasting corporations, and the Alliance of Bioversity & CIAT is supporting over 37,000 farmers and livestock keepers to anticipate climate-related events better and take preventative actions by bundling CSA practices for rehabilitating degraded landscapes.

The practices include integrated soil and water conservation, soil fertility management, crop residue management, row planting, crop rotation, cereal-legume rotation and intensification, and stratified climate-smart agroforestry systems which connect to major Ethiopian priorities such as the Sustainable Land Management Program (SLMP), Resilient Landscapes and Livelihoods Project (RLLP) and its linkage with a significant World Bank project Food Systems Resilience Program for Eastern and Southern Africa (FSRP-ESA).

A farmer in Bale Oromia, Ethiopia, uses feed troughs to minimize feed wastage. Photo Credit: Haimanot Seifu/ ILRI

Using radio to help farmers to access and use climate-smart agriculture innovations

A feed and forage initiative supported by AICCRA to scale up climate-smart feed and forage production has left a positive impact on the lives of 50,000 smallholder farmers across Ethiopia’s diverse agricultural landscapes, spanning the Amhara, Oromia, and SNNP regions, all made possible through collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture.

Under AICCRA, this scaling effort has ensured the accessibility of gender-smart and climate-smart forage and feed innovations that are being woven into the structure of Ethiopia’s regional bureaus of agriculture, thanks to strategic partnerships with extension services, forage seed producers, marketers’ associations, unions, cooperatives, farmers, research centers, higher learning institutions, and local community media outlets.

AICCRA-backed activities in climate-smart livestock feed and forage options are developing capacities of local partners and providing a frame for a broader scaling effort through dynamic development partnerships.

The innovations include cultivated grass and legumes, leguminous fodder trees, post-harvest feed management and forage seed production. Through a 'Weekly Voice Messages for Farmers' program, community radios have been harnessed as a powerful tool to disseminate awareness. The program employs a mobile phone application to transmit brief, one-minute audio messages in local languages to farmers and agricultural experts across four key regions in Ethiopia: Amhara, Oromia, SNNPR regions, and Addis Ababa. To date, the program’s impact has reached and resonated with over 25,730 farmers and agricultural experts.


AICCRA-led capacity-building activities on climate-smart feed and forage innovations in the Amhara region. Photo Credit: Haimanot Seifu/ ILRI

Educating the next generation of Ethiopia’s climate action champions

Ethiopia has implemented national policies such as the Climate Resilient Green Economy strategy and the Home-Grown Economic Reform, which aim to strengthen economic growth and national climate action. The recent roadmap, ‘Strengthening Climate Change Education (CCE)’, is a crucial part of that vision, educating and inspiring Ethiopia’s youth to build a greener, more resilient economy.

To support this, in partnership with the Ministry of Education, national universities, UNESCO’s International Institute for Capacity Building in Africa and various other stakeholders, AICCRA is working to integrate climate information services, climate risk management and climate-smart agriculture into the existing climate-related higher education courses across 46 universities of Ethiopia.

AICCRA is championing the inclusion of a first-year course on climate basics for all students entering universities across the country to create foundational climate science knowledge and tools that will enable students to analyze climate-related risks while maximizing climate-induced opportunities.

Some major strides at the highest education level have already been initiated and approved in partnership with Addis Ababa University’s Institute of Geophysics, Space Science and Astronomy. AICCRA led the curriculum review, evaluation and launch of three new Ph.D. programs in Climate Science, Natural Hazards and Disaster Reduction and Atmospheric Science.

AICCRA Ethiopia is led by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in collaboration with:

  • The Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT
  • International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA)
  • International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT)


AICCRA Ethiopia also works closely with a number of other key partners:

To learn more about AICCRA Ethiopia's activities, please contact:

Brook Tesfaye Makonnen, AICCRA Ethiopia Communications Lead -

Further Reading

- Publications from AICCRA Ethiopia

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