By Daisy Ouya, originally published at Agroforestry World Blog of the World Agroforestry Centre
African smallholder farmers have a new ally in their effort to adopt farming practices that raise food production, build resilience to climate change, and create healthier and more sustainable landscapes—that is, practices that are climate smart.
The aim of a new initiative, the Africa Climate-Smart Agriculture Alliance (ACSAA), is to see 6 million smallholder in Africa practicing climate smart agriculture within the coming 7 years. This effort contributes to NEPAD’s Vision 25 x 25, which aims to reach 25 million African farm households by 2025.
“This goal is very practical and very feasible,” said Martin Bwalya, Head of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme, NEPAD at the African Union (AU).
Moreover, “the Alliance addresses things that matter for the development and economic growth of the continent, as expressed at the recent AU Heads of State summit in Malabo,” he added.
Bwalya was speaking at an event hosted by the Africa Climate-Smart Agriculture Alliance in Lima, Peru. The discussion Forum was part of the Global Landscape Forum held alongside Lima COP 20, the 2014 UN climate change conference.
The ACSAA is an implementation partnership that will address a multi-sectoral issues surrounding African smallholder farmers’ vulnerability in the face of climate change. The issues have agricultural, environmental, social and economic angles. The Alliance will leverage diverse partners, and work to build the capacity of national institutions and community-based organizations (CBOs) to transfer climate smart farming skills to millions of rural farming households.
World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), through the CGIAR, is a partner of the Alliance, and ICRAF Agroecologist Todd Rosenstock was a panelist at the GLF event. He said the flexibility of the package of practices under the umbrella of climate smart agriculture is a major, and essential, strength.
“Climate smart agriculture provides a flexible framework to address food security needs under the realities of climate change,” said Rosenstock.
“The flexibility of CSA is not a weakness, it’s a prerequisite. And what that flexibility allows us to do is to evaluate the relative importance of food security, adaptation and mitigation in the local context.” Rosenstock clarified that the relative importance of these depends on location.
In Africa, food security, adaptation and mitigation are unequally weighted in different local contexts. In many areas, mitigation is seen as a co-benefit of the other two, not as a primary goal.
Read more at Agroforestry World Blog