Millions of African farmers are set to benefit from a significant investment in climate-smart agriculture (CSA) technologies, offering a beacon of hope in the face of a changing climate. The World Bank recently approved an additional $40 million in grants for the Accelerating Impacts of CGIAR Climate Research for Africa (AICCRA) project.

“This is a game-changer for African agriculture,” said Dr. Agnes Mwangi, a leading climate scientist at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), a CGIAR research center. “By equipping farmers with the tools and knowledge to adapt to climate challenges, we can ensure food security for millions across the continent.”

The AICCRA project targets six countries: Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Senegal, and Zambia. These regions represent diverse agro-ecological zones, all highly vulnerable to climate change impacts like erratic rainfall and rising temperatures.

“Investing in climate-smart agriculture is essential for enhancing food security and economic development in a sustainable manner,” explains World Bank Lead Agriculture Specialist, Khosiyam Mmusi. “This project goes beyond just providing technologies; it strengthens the capacity of local communities to use them effectively.”

The project focuses on three key areas:

  • Knowledge Generation and Sharing: Researchers will work with farmers to develop and validate new CSA technologies. This includes drought-resistant crops, improved water management practices, and soil health enhancement techniques.
  • Strengthening Partnerships: Collaboration is key. AICCRA will foster partnerships between governments, research institutions, extension services, and private sector actors to ensure the widespread adoption of CSA technologies.
  • Scaling Up Innovation: Promising CSA practices will be piloted and tested in local communities. Successful methods will then be scaled up for broader impact.

“Climate change is a threat multiplier,” says AICCRA project manager, Dr. David Macharia. “By building resilience into our agricultural systems, we are not only protecting livelihoods, but also safeguarding the environment for future generations.”

The project is expected to empower farmers to make informed decisions about their crops and livestock, ultimately leading to increased agricultural productivity and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. This is a much-needed step towards a more climate-resilient and food-secure Africa.