Millions of African farmers to benefit from new Climate Smart Agriculture alliance

The NEPAD Agency has launched an alliance of diverse partners to reach six million farming families through Climate-Smart Agriculture processes over the next seven years.

Known as the Africa Climate-Smart Agriculture Alliance, the group will contribute to helping 25 million farmers become more resilient and food secure by 2025.

The Alliance unites the public sector with research and civil society organizations to scale up on-farm assistance, link to technological advances and support a favorable policy environment. This cross-sector collaboration is designed to achieve transformational impact; farmers, communities and systems for lasting change.

NEPAD CEO Dr Mayaki said that implementation and ensuring tangible results at grassroot level is a key factor that sets this Alliance apart. “It is in this regard also important that the Alliance has set itself clear targets. Within the context of the CAADP Results Framework, we should be able to monitor and follow progress in attaining the six million farm household target.” he said

Members of the Alliance include five INGOs which will lead scaling up activities: CARE, Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Concern Worldwide, Oxfam and World Vision. Four technical partners will ensure the best, most up-to-date technical information and evaluation capacity. They are the United Nations’ Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), the African policy and advocacy NGO known as the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN), the research consortium CGIAR, and the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA).

“If we do not do something urgently to forestall the impact of climate change, it will lead to a downward trend in Africa’s development. Africa needs to come up with strategies to reduce the negative effects of climate change. These include green economy approaches, government policies and other mechanisms to protect our ecosystems,” said president Kufour.

World Vision Australia CEO, Mr Tim Costello cautioned that the world’s poor had a trust factor in leaders, that had to be fulfilled.. “If growth does not touch the poorest, then the trust deficit in leaders will only grow. So many of the worlds’ poorest are being left dramatically behind. This initiative is one of the powerful tools to address the challenges of the small-scale farmers” he said.

Representing Catholic Relief Services, the CEO, Dr Carolyn Woo said “As Africa starts to prosper, we have an opportunity to reach out, we need to provide prosperity for those small scale farmers and an effective way to do that is through climate smart agriculture”

The CEO of FARNAPAN, Lindiwe Sibanda, speaking on behalf of Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CICAFS), a programme tasked with dealing with climate change issues, reiterated that this alliance will need to address issues on food security, nutrition security, mitigation of agriculture and adaption to climate change strategies.

Source: NEPAD

Farmers’ battle to cope with climate change could spark rural renewal

Shifting world agriculture to a “climate-smart” approach will not only help prevent future food security crises but holds the promise of sparking economic and agricultural renewal in rural areas where hunger and poverty are most prevalent, argues a new FAO publication.

On the one hand, the magnitude and scope of climate change’s impacts on agricultural systems means that boosting rural communities’ resilience and adaptive capacities is essential to safeguarding world food security.

Rising temperatures and an increased frequency of extreme weather events will have direct and negative impacts on crops, livestock, forestry, fisheries and aquaculture productivity in the years to come, as clearly indicated in the most recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Vulnerable, farming-dependent populations in the developing world are particularly at risk.

But at the same time, the compelling need to deal with the challenges posed by climate change offers an opportunity to transform the way food systems use natural resources, improve agriculture’s sustainability and promote poverty reduction and economic growth, the publication adds.

Highlighting cases studies in “climate-smart agriculture” from around the globe, FAO’s document shows that many rural communities are already successfully making the transition to new forms of farming better suited to the rigors of a warmer world.

“A shift to climate-smart agriculture will not only help shield farmers from the adverse effects of climate change and offer a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but can also improve farm yields and household incomes, leading to stronger, more resilient communities,” said FAO Deputy Director-General Helena Semedo.

“We can no longer afford to separate the future of food security from that of natural resources, the environment and climate change – they are inextricably intertwined and our response must be as well,” she added.

Climate-smart agriculture

The model of climate-smart agriculture that FAO is promoting seeks to address three broad objectives:
• Sustainably increase agricultural productivity and incomes
• Help rural communities and farmers adapt to and become more resilient to the effects of climate change
• To reduce or remove agriculture’s greenhouse gases emissions, when possible.
Exactly how farmers go about tackling these goals can change from place to place, depending on local circumstances.

Source: FAO

How Africa can help feed the world’s 9 billion in 2050

How Africa can help feed the world’s 9 billion people in 2050

With the global population expected to increase to over 9 billion people in 2050, experts have been predicting dire food situations. In Africa, in particular, the population is projected to go from being home to 15 percent of the world population today to 25 percent in 2050.

However, it is also Africa that offers major solutions in feeding the world. While there’s no silver bullet to providing food for all, here are some examples of what can be (and is being) done to improve food production and distribution in Africa:

1. While other regions have reached the limits to agricultural yield per hectare of land, Africa can substantially increase yields with currently available technology.

In certain parts of Africa, farmer yields remain as low as 1-1.5 tons per hectare, compared to potential yields of 3.5 tons per hectare in other regions of the world. That current underperformance translates into future opportunity.

Some companies are recognizing African farmers’ potential, including IGD member Seed Co., Africa’s largest proprietary seed breeding, production, processing and distribution group. Seed Co. is a founder of the Last Mile Alliance, an innovative model that brings together commercial partners (providers of high-quality farm inputs, financial services and insurance), existing agro-dealers, foundations and donors to create a cost-effective rural distribution network to reach smallholder farmers in Tanzania, delivering both commercial success and development impact at scale.

2. A lot of the added food needed to feed an expanding population already exists — we just need to reduce food spoilage and waste, and Africa is no exception.

More than 30 percent of all food produced in the world for human consumption every year gets lost or wasted, and saving just a quarter of that food would allow us to feed an added 870 million hungry people. Where in the value chain is food wasted? In medium- and high-income countries, quality standards that over-emphasize food’s appearance and consumer decisions to buy more food contribute heavily to massive food waste. In contrast, food loss in Africa occurs almost entirely in the production and distribution stages, leading experts to call for investment in infrastructure, transportation, packaging facilities and processing in the developing world to fight food loss.

Through the IGD-Rockefeller Post-Harvest Loss Project, IGD has engaged more than 45 companies in Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria to identify scalable, market-led solutions to reduce waste and spoilage in several value chains. For example, the Dutch Agriculture Development & Trading Co., a private company established in 2002 to drive poverty alleviation via business methods, is currently tackling the issue of food spoilage. Through its autonomous mobile processing units, DADTCO brings processing directly to cassava farmers in Ghana, Mozambique and Nigeria, circumventing spoilage issues that arise during transportation of cassava to traditional processing plants.

3. Compared to other global regions, Africa’s potential for sheer expansion of cultivated land is huge.

Some 60 percent of Earth’s uncultivated land is located in Africa. That translates into 600 million hectares. While not all potential farmland should be converted given environmental and commercial considerations, the opportunity for sustainable expansion does exist. As the efficiency of land use increases through yields, less land will be needed for farms in the future.

While analysts are concerned about global population growth, signs of progress in food security persist. In Africa, with continued efforts in increasing yields, reducing waste and efficiently using land, the continent’s agricultural potential will be part of the solution to feeding 9 billion people by 2050.

Source: Jessica Ernst, July 2014.

District Agricultural Development Plans [DADPS] can address Climate Change

This analysis of Kilosa and Chamwino District Councils District Agricultural Development Plans (DADPs) for 2010/2011, 2011/2012 and 2012/2013 was carried out in order to provide recommendations on how DADPs can address climate change adaptation and mitigation in relation to small-scale farmers.  In accomplishing this analysis, review was made to the said DADPs documents for the two districts as well as two field visits for Focus Group Discussions in two villages one in Kilosa District and the other in Chamwino District. Other relevant documents were also reviewed to make it possible to provide useful insights to respond to the requirements of the analysis.

The study revealed the following three mixed situations in as far as DADPs implementation is concerned, for more details see the final report below:

Tree farmers join race for carbon millions

Trees for Schools founder Jadiel Maingi (right) inspects nurseries at a school. A Nakuru organisation is wooing farmers to invest more in trees to earn and enjoy a cleaner environment. File

 

Do you want to make money growing trees? Would you like to lease out your land for the same?

Pandapata Initiative, a conservation organisation based in Nakuru, is calling on land owners to register as members, start tree-growing and wait to be paid for their efforts.

According to the director Thiga Ndegwa, farmers, communal land owners, companies, schools and colleges with big tracks of land exceeding a thousand acres can partner with the organisation and benefit from carbon credit exchange.

“We have signed an understanding with an investor from the United Kingdom who is willing to invest in this enterprise. However, the investor has insisted on trading in huge volumes of carbon credit, which means trees planted on huge tracts of land, thus we must present numbers that are impressive in order to qualify,” Mr Ndegwa says.

The figures that the investor is quoting are indeed ambitious, with approximately Sh8 billion expected to be paid out yearly if generation, harvesting and monetisation of carbon credit can be done on a million acres of both private and public land locally.

This may be a tall order for the environmental conservationists, and they may have to request the government for access to public lands in order to re-afforest the depleted lands.

“If the government would allow us to re-afforest the public forests, we would reach about half a million acres of land. We would still be short of the ideal one million acres that we need, which would be in line with the United Nations Kyoto Protocol climate change mitigation mechanism,” says Mr Ndegwa.

He, therefore, proposes that private land owners take up the offer by freeing up their land for tree-planting.

“For those with hundreds, or even thousands of acres, I would request that they register with this initiative so that they can benefit when their land is covered in trees,” he says.

Carbon dioxide is believed to be the primary greenhouse gas that is contributing to climate change.

Growing trees helps reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere through photosynthesis thus helping reduce the emission of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.

Companies or governments can buy carbon offsets from those who have planted trees in order to mitigate their own greenhouse gas emissions or comply with caps on the total amount of carbon dioxide they are allowed to emit.

The Patapanda Initiative envisions employing trainers and incorporating business people who can engage in growing tree nurseries in any part of the country.

“The project needs trees, and even though we have over half a million seedlings in our nurseries, there is need for more nurseries around the country so that those who register to plant trees can be directed to nearest points where they can purchase the seedlings,” says he.

As incentives to plant more trees, farmers get interest-free loans where the trees planted are used as collateral. So far, the trees for loan programme has been successfully implemented in Njoro, Elburgon, Subukia and Rongai areas of Nakuru County.

 

Source: http://www.businessdailyafrica.com/Tree-farmers-join-race-for-carbon-millions/-/1248928/1691446/-/47i99uz/-/index.html