Africa in general and sub-Saharan Africa in particular is faced with the challenge to consolidate and up-scale transformational advances, while at the same time up-hold the drive on agricultural productivity and stand-up to the emerging local and global challenges, including climate change, food and energy prices as well as youth unemployment. African countries have rallied genuine momentum around agriculture and the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP). The CAADP momentum in the countries is high, but also is the urge to demonstrate results and impact.
Sustaining the CAADP momentum recognizes the need for increased and expanded adoption of Climate Smart Agriculture as one of the key aspects to advancing agricultural performance and agricultural value on socio-economic growth and development. CSA has the potential to minimize the effects of extreme weather conditions (drought or floods) thereby stabilizing production.
For many African technical staff and policy makers however, CSA is relatively new. They do not have the knowledge support and skills to prepare investment Programs for scaling up gender sensitive climate change adaptation and mitigation interventions. This makes it difficult for CAADP country teams to effectively implement the CSA interventions outlined in the agriculture investment plans developed under CAADP.
To address this challenge, the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) received a grant from the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) to implement a two-year project with the aim to promote adoption of CSA strategies that enhance agricultural productivity for improved food security and poverty reduction. More importantly, the project will provide a formidable platform for strengthening capacities and also emphasize the need for increased awareness of CSA in African AR4D policies, processes and strategies at the national and regional levels. The project essentially deals with research and analytical work efforts to enhance the scientific and political economy understanding of local circumstances and driving factors for enhanced and sustained adoption of CSA. It will also complement other related CSA initiatives being implemented by AUC, NPCA, FANRPAN, CORAF-WECARD, ASARECA, etc. At the end of the project, it is expected that the increased capacity among the NARS will contribute to the realization of the CAADP objectives as well as up-scaling successful CSA initiatives to other parts of Africa.