Yes, we are ready to scale climate-smart agriculture!
“To achieve the SDGs, we have to reach half a billion farmers. How can we do this in sub-Saharan Africa?” asked Dr Bruce Campbell of CCAFS at the start of the side event Stepping Up Engagement Efforts in Sub-Saharan Africa to Catalyse Investments in Climate Action, organized by FANRPAN and partners, including CCARDESA.
Three pitches were presented at COP25 by front runners in climate-smart agriculture, including the Ministry of Agriculture of Lesotho, CCAFS, FANRPAN and the SADC Plant Genetic Resource Centre, who have formed strong partnerships with CCARDESA, the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT), Southern African for Confederation of African Union (SACAU) and GIZ.
Bruce Campbell of CCAFS presented the first pitch on digitalizing agricultural transformation through bundling agricultural advisories and risk insurance in southern Africa (SADC).
Dr Lefulesele Lebesa Director, Department of Agricultural Research, Lesotho presented the second pitch on transforming crop & livestock production systems for climate resilience in southern Africa. If financed, the programme will facilitate agriculture systems that are more resilient to climate change and soil fertility decline, leading to higher yields and incomes, healthier populations, ecosystems and economies while creating an enabling policy environment to combat climate change.
On behalf of the SADC Plant Genetic Resources Centre, Sithembile Mwamakamba of FANRPAN, provided the third pitch on Harnessing the potential of plant genetic resources in enhancing climate change resilience among the rural farming communities in Southern Africa Development Community (SADC).
To add the icing to the cake there was the theatre group that showed how farmers in Africa have identified solutions, ready to scale. The theatre performance was critical because it showcased how theatre can be used to effectively communicate climate-smart agriculture practices for policy advocacy and ways of mobilising resources to mitigate climate change.
The side event was well received and attended. Dr Martin Schuldes Head of Division Climate Initiatives from the Federal German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) mentioned how his government has over the years been working within the SADC region on climate change. He appealed to other donors to invest. Also, Mr Riad Balaghi, Director of Projects in the Adaptation of African Agriculture Initiative (AAA), Mr Jahan Chowdhury, Country Engagement Director of the NDC Partnership and Dr Evan Girvetz, Senior Scientist with the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) responded positively to the Theatre for Policy Advocacy Approach and increasing investment in climate-smart agriculture.
It is hoped that the investment pitches that have been presented will create a thirsty among the donors to fund the implementation of climate-smart agricultural initiatives in future.
The side event was organized by the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis (FANRPAN) in partnership with the SADC Secretariat, the Centre for Coordination of Agricultural Research and Development for Southern Africa (CCARDESA), the SADC/ Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH Adaptation to Climate Change in Rural Areas in Southern Africa (ACCRA) programme (implemented on behalf of German Federal Ministry for Economic Development and Cooperation, BMZ), the Consortium of International Agricultural Research Centres (CGIAR), Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), CARE International, the Initiative for the Adaptation of African Agriculture (AAA) and the World Bank.