First series of climate risk assessment reports CRAFT project published

First series of climate risk assessment reports CRAFT project published

SNV in partnership with Wageningen University and Research, CGIAR’s Climate Change Agriculture and Food Security Programme, Agriterra and Rabo Partnerships publish a series of climate risk assessment reports as part of the Climate Resilient Agri-businesses For Tomorrow (CRAFT) project (funded by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs).

Scientists from CGIAR’s Climate Change Agriculture and Food Security Programme have projected an increase in temperatures of about 2 degrees Celsius over the next 30 years in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. The projections also show an overall increase in rainfall during the short rainy season (October, November and December) particularly in Kenya and Uganda and longer dry spells coupled with a decline in rainfall during the long rainy season (March, April, May).  This could lead to higher incidences of flooding during the short rainy season and drought during the long rainy season.

These climate changes will have a significant impact on the agricultural sector in the region, which is predominantly rain-fed.  As Susan Cantella, the CRAFT project manager stated, “We cannot continue simply talking about climate change. We have to give it the much needed hands and feet to enable farmers and businesses to adapt to or mitigate the effects of climate change.”

The comprehensive first climate risk assessment reports are now available for download:

From science to practice

To translate these predictions to practice SNV and its partners held a series of workshops with the objectives to:

  • Increase awareness about how climate change impacts actors in the various value chains (sunflower and common bean in Tanzania; potato and green gram in Kenya; and soybean and sesame in Uganda).

  • Increase awareness on the effectiveness of current coping strategies to deal with climate change now and in future

  • Identify new adaption strategies /measures that will help actors to cope with climate risks in future

  • Explore adaption measures and business opportunities

Stakeholders at one of the climate risk assessment workshops

Stakeholders at one of the climate risk assessment workshops

Across the diverse group of stakeholders present, from government, private sector (e.g. input companies/ agro-dealers, processors), financial institutions, cooperatives as well as farmers, discussions on mutual engagement started to emerge. Climate smart agriculture can no longer be seen as just a technology or agricultural practices, it has to be anchored in a mutually inclusive arrangement with different stakeholders working together to drive the much-needed change. What was clear to all participants was the need to develop long term solutions because climate smart solutions addressing the issues of today will likely be overtaken by changes in climate in the future.

“We have to look very critically at how we produce food. Which foods can we produce where and how? Ultimately this is not just about improving food production. We have to look at the entire value chain, linkages to markets, and input suppliers, and how farmers will access finances,” said Sanne Willems – First Secretary Agriculture, Food Security and Water of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Kenya, during one of the workshops.

During the climate risk assessment workshops, farmers identified their need for timely information and knowledge to help adjust their farming practices – for instance how to access quality certified seeds, soil testing before selecting fertilisers as well as the challenges in accessing finances and markets . For the agri-businesses (processors, input and service providers) the challenges highlighted by farmers was a clear reflection of the need to invest in climate smart solutions as a way to climate proof their supply chains. The participating financial institutions realised that there is a need to develop customised/ tailored products for farmers including how to make agricultural insurance accessible and affordable to farmers.

For more about the climate risk assessment workshops and the CRAFT project in the media