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Examples of good practices on climate change adaptation from Nyando shared to foster learning

CRP 7 News -

Sustainably increasing agricultural productivity in Nyando is central to the future of food nutrition and security, and there is need for strategies to enhance climate-smart agriculture as the first step for sustainable agriculture. To address this challenge, the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) East Africa, in collaboration with Kenyan research and development organisations, partnered with rural communities to develop Climate-Smart Villages (CSVs) as models of local actions that ensure food security, promote adaptation and build resilience to climatic stresses.

In February 2016, researchers from CCAFS East Africa presented emerging results from the Nyando CSVs at the Symposium on Climate Change Adaptation in Africa. The symposium was held to mobilise African and non-African scholars undertaking research on adaptation in Africa. The 3 articles focusing on gender and intersectionality, resilient crop interventions and the Farms of the Future (FoTF) approach were published recently in a book titled 'Climate Change Adaptation in Africa: Fostering Resilience and Capacity to Adapt’.

Uptake of climate-smart agriculture through a gendered intersectionality lens

Download the paper: Uptake of Climate-Smart Agriculture Through a Gendered Intersectionality Lens: Experiences from Western Kenya

The research used a gendered intersectionality lens to explore how factors such as age, ethnicity, education and marital status intersect with gender to influence the uptake of CSA technologies and practices. Intersectionality is a tool for studying, understanding and responding to the ways in which gender intersects (or interacts) with other identities and how these intersections contribute to unique experiences of oppression and privilege. The application of a gendered intersectionality lens reveals fundamental factors which influence the uptake of CSA interventions introduced by CCAFS and partners.

The study concludes that overall, farmers, regardless of gender, are willing to adopt climate-smart technologies and practices. Factors such as ethnicity, education, age and marital status determine the levels of uptake of CSA technologies and practices. These lessons can be used to inform the process of implementing CSA-related policies, programmes and projects in Kenya.

Uptake of resilient crop interventions to manage risks through the CSV approach

Download the paper: Uptake of Resilient Crop Interventions to Manage Risks Through Climate-Smart Villages Approach in Nyando, Western Kenya

The study used the household survey designed by CCAFS to develop simple, comparable household level indicators, for which changes can be evaluated with time. These indicators include food security, household assets, diversity in on-farm agricultural production, adaptation, and farming practices. The study found that Nyando farmers are increasingly using the terracing technique for collecting surface runoff water thus increasing infiltration and controlling water erosion, to help transform the landscape. The Nyando farmers have been incrementally practicing intercropping. This crop intervention spreads the risk of crop failure because the crops have different patterns of growth, and are affected by different pests and diseases. The food insecurity risk is reduced, and with sufficient rainfall could be a chance of getting higher yields from the two crops grown as an intercrop.

The study also found that households are diversifying crop choices to deal with climate-related risks. Early results show a shift to use of improved agronomic practices and high diversification. Households are now adopting more than three crops, greatly expanding on-farm choices for resilient varieties. However, there is need to have climate information services to guide farmers in decision making on crop types and varieties.

Strengthening farmer adaptive capacity through Farms of the Future approach

Download the paper: Strengthening Farmer Adaptive Capacity Through Farms of the Future Approach in Nyando, Western Kenya

In order to strengthen adaptive capacity and encourage transformative changes, farmers need to understand what their future climate is likely to be. Through the Farms of the Future approach, the CCAFS Climate Analogues tool can be used to connect farmers to their possible future climates through farmer-to-farmer learning exchanges. During an 8-day learning journey to several learning sites in Nyando, farmers and stakeholders were exposed to a wide range of ongoing community adaptation and risk management strategies and innovations, both institutional (collective action to manage climate risks such as community banks and establishment of tree nurseries) and technological (such as simple farm mechanization and animal feed establishment).

One of the lessons emerging from the learning journey is that farmers need space to explore future horizons and potential challenges and opportunities, and can effectively learn from their peers. This learning is not necessarily about technology transfer, but also about institutional change and developing localized solutions. It is critically important to engage actors from across the agricultural sector, because of the uncertainties posed by climate change, the need for more flexibility in responses (e.g. from agricultural advisors) and the potential scale of the challenges ahead.

We are proud that these research papers are available in a book to serve the purpose of showcasing experiences from research, field projects and best practices in climate change adaptation in African countries, which may be useful or implemented in other countries in the continent.

Download the papers:

The papers are avalable in Climate Change Adaptation in Africa: Fostering Resilience and Capacity to Adapt

Mungai C, Opondo M, Outa G, Nelson V, Nyasimi M, Kimeli P. 2017. Uptake of Climate-Smart Agriculture Through a Gendered Intersectionality Lens: Experiences from Western Kenya. In: Filho WL et al (eds.). 2017. Climate Change Adaptation in Africa: Fostering Resilience and Capacity to Adapt. Part II. Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing. pp 587-601.

Recha JW, Radeny M, Kinyangi J, Kimeli P. 2017. Uptake of Resilient Crop Interventions to Manage Risks Through Climate-Smart Villages Approach in Nyando, Western Kenya. In: Filho WL et al (eds.). 2017. Climate Change Adaptation in Africa: Fostering Resilience and Capacity to Adapt. Part II. Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing. pp 531-538.

Kimeli P, Nyasimi M, Radeny M. 2017. Strengthening Farmer Adaptive Capacity Through Farms of the Future Approach in Nyando, Western Kenya. In: Filho WL et al (eds.). 2017. Climate Change Adaptation in Africa: Fostering Resilience and Capacity to Adapt. Part II. Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing. pp 629-645.

Index insurance as an instrument for managing risk and modernizing agricultural production

CRP 2: program news -

Many agricultural development programs are ideally positioned to support the widespread adoption of “sustainable intensification” technologies and management practices. While the science underlying these programs may be well-established, their actual success hinges critically on their ability to overcome a myriad of institutional and implementation challenges, particularly since many operate in environments fraught with risks, notably >> Read more

Vietnamese farmers, media share their climate-smart agriculture experiences with Filipino broadcasters

CRP 7 News -

Rural communities in Southeast Asia largely depend on the climate; however climate change is posing a number of challenges to their productivity, livelihoods and food security. Communities could better adapt to the negative impacts of climate change, if they are provided with the information necessary to address the issues.

Rural broadcasters, who serve as information conduits to farmers, therefore have an important role in raising awareness and understanding regarding climate change and climate-smart agriculture (CSA). The Food and Agriculture Organization defines CSA based on the three pillars of improved food security, climate change adaptation and mitigation.

A team of seven rural broadcasters from the Philippines visited communities and demonstration sites of different CSA practices and technologies in Vietnam from 27 March to 3 April 2017. Aside from learning about the best practices in CSA in Vietnam, the Filipino broadcasters would be interacting with farming communities, thus giving the broadcasters a broader perspective of CSA.

One of the highlights of their trip was the visit to the Ma Climate-Smart Village (CSV) in Yen Bai province of Vietnam. One of the six CSVs under the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security in Southeast Asia (CCAFS SEA), Ma CSV is a testing center for different CSA practices and technologies that could also be implemented in other areas. Some of the practices showcased in the village are vermiculture and composting, living bed technology and advanced livestock management practices, and the loud speakers which service as the village information system.

A demonstration of the vermiculture in Ma CSV during an interview with the media. This is just one of the many climate-smart  practices showcased in the CSV. Photo: B. Joven (CCAFS)

In Soc Son district, the group heard from the farmers and management board of the Thanh Xuan Organic Vegetable Farmers’ Cooperative how they switched to organic vegetable farming, which has increased their incomes by more than seven to eight times, compared to their previous practice of rice production. Other demonstration sites the group visited included the fish pond and livestock system in Soc Son, the lychee/longan model in Bac Ninh and the CSA models of Cuu Long Rice Research Institute in southern Vietnam.

I am very impressed by what I see in this village about how people are adopting technology that is related to improving their income… and taking care of the environment. It is almost the same thing… Quite a lot of parallels, likeness between the situation in Vietnam and the Philippines," PFRB Chairman Mr Louie Tabing commented during an interview with the local press.

The Filipino group also had the opportunity to exchange experiences on broadcasting climate change and related issues with Vietnamese media practitioners. It is hoped that this trip would help broadcasters better amplify their learning on CSA and CSV concepts among their audiences.

Cross-learning events have proven to be effective in sharing information on CSA practices and technologies, especially among CSVs in Southeast Asia. CCAFS SEA has supported a number of roving workshops and cross-visits with selected farmers and local government officials from Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and the Philippines.

During the briefing before the tour of Ma CSV in Vietnam. Such cross-learning events have proven to be effective in scaling up CSA in Southeast Asia. Photo: B. Joven (CCAFS)

This educational trip was an incentive for the outstanding broadcasters who participated in a CSA information campaign in the Philippines. The three broadcasters who were awarded during the trip were Regional Agriculture and Fisheries Information Division Chief Dr Kadiguia Abdullah of DXMS (Cotobato, southern Philippines); Ms Gloria Parong of DZWM (La Union, northern Philippines), Aksyon Radio and DZNL; and Ms Ronald Omang of DYVL (Tacloban, central Philippines). PFRB Chairman Tabing, PFRB President Mr Rogelio Matalang, campaign manager Ms Cherrie Lyn Masicat, and Ms Salembai Abdullah of DXMS Cotobato City also joined the field trip in Vietnam.

The said campaign was held across the country in 2016 by the Philippine Federation of Rural Broadcasters, and was supported by CCAFS SEA. A set of 156 ready-to-air interviews and 165 scripts in five local languages in the Philippines were distributed to 153 rural broadcasters. At least 63 radio stations used the prepared materials, which reached about two million listeners (estimated based on radio station listenership).

According to Dr Leocadio Sebastian, regional program leader of CCAFS SEA, this climate information campaign would continue in the Philippines. In the future, they will pick another batch of outstanding climate-smart broadcasters who would have the opportunity to go on a similar educational trip. All these activities seek to improve communication of climate change to rural communities.

See media coverage on this: Read more:

ANH Academy Launches Technical Brief on Food Environments

CRP 4 program news -

Food environments include the range of food sources and products that surround people as they go about their daily lives. Current research around food environments focuses on high income countries and shows significant methodological and conceptual gaps. The ANH Academy’s technical brief systematises current knowledge and puts forward a new framework to be applied in >> Read more

Governance structures in smallholder pig value chains in Uganda: constraints and opportunities for upgrading

Our latest outputs -

Governance structures in smallholder pig value chains in Uganda: constraints and opportunities for upgrading Ouma, Emily; Ochieng, J.; Dione, Michel; Pezo, Danilo This paper analyses governance structures in Uganda’s smallholder pig value chains by applying the New Institutional Economics framework. It utilises cross sectional and qualitative survey data from randomly selected pig value chain actors in 4 districts. A multinomial logit model is applied to assess the determinants of vertical integration among pig traders. The findings indicate that most relationships at the pig production node of the value chain are based on spot market governance structures supported by personal relationships and trust. Live pig traders are mostly vertically integrated. High integration levels of the pig traders are positively influenced by access to market information, value of investments in the value chain, and dedicated asset specificity in terms of backyard slaughter premises. Upgrading opportunities in the value chain in the form of value addition strategies, policy implementation and promotion of business models that link producer organisations to quality inputs and service suppliers through contractual arrangements are identified.

Smallholder farming causes 5% of global emissions; mitigation recommendations

CRP 7 News -

As countries plan and begin implementation of Nationally Determined Contributions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, a global debate centers on how much climate change mitigation should come from smallholder farms in low-income and middle-income countries. Sonja Vermeulen and Lini Wollenberg, lead researchers from the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) inform the debate in “A rough estimate of the proportion of global emissions from agriculture due to smallholders,” a CCAFS Info Note published this month.

First, researchers assessed whether smallholder farmers cause enough emissions to be considered significant emitters on a global scale. Using FAOSTAT estimates of emissions from agricultural practices and national data on the proportion of agricultural land under smallholder farming, researchers found that smallholder farmers are responsible for roughly 5% of all emissions globally, including 32% of emissions from the agriculture sector and 29% of emissions from agriculture-driven land-use change.

Vermeulen and Wollenberg recognize that the coarseness of the data and vastly varying contexts - their methods are fully described in the Info Note. In extracting data and making these estimates, they also uncovered some important trends:

a. Smallholder farming emissions in the agriculture sector are concentrated in Asia, mostly due to large populations, though Ethiopia and Tanzania also have high emissions.

b. While absolute emissions are highest in Asia, emissions per smallholder farm are not necessarily higher in Asia.

c. In the top 20 emitting developing countries, smallholder farming accounts for 0.8 GtCO2e per year. This is 42% of all agriculture-driven emissions associated with deforestation in those 20 countries. However, this proportion is expected to decrease.

Researchers then examined differences in emissions between smallholder farming and larger or industrial farming. They found significant variations in emissions according to practices and location, for example in how much nitrogen fertilizer is used; in upland v. irrigated rice production; and in choices made around herd management, feed quality, breed and animal health in the livestock sector. They also found that productivity and emission intensity (emissions per unit of output) - important factors for food security, livelihood and mitigation strategies - vary widely.

Vermeulen and Wollenberg inform the global debate on the role of smallholder farming in climate change mitigation with evidence-based key messages for low emissions development:

  • Early adoption of low-emissions agriculture in developing countries is an opportunity for more efficient use of land, fertilizer, energy, feed and water.
  • Some low emissions practices may provide immediate economic benefits for smallholders, such as saving money through more efficient application of nitrogen fertilizers in high-use contexts and reduced irrigation in rice paddies.
  • Shifting to new practices may create higher risks and costs for smallholders, who are disproportionately poor, at risk from food insecurity and vulnerable to climate change.
  • Carbon sequestration is impermanent and reversible, and smallholders may be blamed or punished for deforesting or cultivating soils during times of hardship.
  • Substantial funding may be needed to adopt new technologies, given diverse and dispersed smallholders and costs of monitoring.

When considering the issues of poverty, food insecurity and vulnerability to climate change, the researchers conclude that smallholder farmers in developing countries should contribute to mitigation, but only when it also supports livelihood improvements and other rural development outcomes.

Any decision to seek climate change mitigation in smallholder systems needs to make sense for both mitigation and development." (Vermeulen and Wollenberg 2017)

Information and resources for policy-makers working at the nexus of climate change, agriculture and food security are growing. CCAFS publications and tools are widely available, including the Mitigation Options Tool (CCAFS-MOT) or the Climate-Smart Agriculture Programming and Indicator Tool. For more information, please contact Julianna White.

Download the info note: Vermeulen S, Wollenberg E. 2017. A rough estimate of the proportion of global emissions from agriculture due to smallholders. CCAFS Info Note. Copenhagen, Denmark: CGIAR Research Programme on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security.

Join our webinar! Designing projects for improving nutrition through animal source foods—Tomorrow, 4 May

Clippings -

The following announcement comes from Jennie Lane,
animal health and livelihoods technical advisor for Land O’Lakes International Development.

Land O’Lakes International Development and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) are pleased to announce a webinar option for their meeting tomorrow, 4 May, in Nairobi, Kenya, on Animal Source Foods for Nutrition Impact: Evidence and Good Practices for Informed Project Design. This one-day event will be held on the ILRI Nairobi campus from 8:30am to 5:00pm on Thu 4 May 2017. While the physical workshop is by invitation only due to space limitations, portions of the day’s presentations and discussions will be available as recordings later.  

Webinar invitation Animal Source Foods for Nutrition Impact: Evidence and Good Practices
for Informed Project Design
4 May 2017 Click here to register

The webinar will stream audio during the day from approximately 8:45am–5pm East Africa Time. A detailed agenda is available on the registration page. An afternoon session will welcome participants joining from the Americas.  

Sessions during the day will include:

  • Why animal source foods are critical for nutrition, especially during the first 1000 days of life
  • Pathways of livestock program impacts on household nutrition
  • Introduction to an upcoming ILRI-sponsored review of global evidence linking animal source foods and nutrition
  • Practical field experience of the impacts of poultry and dairy interventions on household nutrition 

The speakers, representing the research and development communities, include, from ILRI: Director General Jimmy Smith, veterinary epidemiologist/food safety expert and program leader Delia Grace, and joint ILRI-London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine lecturer Paula Dominguez-Salas; from Land O’Lakes International Development: Senior Vice President John Ellenberger, Animal Health and Livelihoods Technical Advisor Jennifer Lane, and Practice Area Manager for Dairy, Livestock and Environment Carmen Jaquez; and from the University of Sydney: Associate Professor Robyn Alders.

This event is designed for the development practitioner and focused on sharing evidence and best practices to inform project design and approaches for improving the nutrition of women and children through animal source foods. Presentations will have a specific focus on Kenya and the wider East Africa region. Attendees will include representatives of non-governmental organizations, contractor and private-sector companies, and donor agencies and governments.

This event is the fourth and final event in a year-long USAID/FFP TOPS-funded learning series on Livestock, Animal Source Foods and Household Nutrition, organized by Land O’Lakes and ILRI.

The Livestock and Household Nutrition Learning Series is partially funded by the United States Agency for International Development/Food for Peace-funded Technical and Operational Performance Support (TOPS) Program.

For more information, please contact Jennifer Lane at JKLane [at] landolakes.com.


Filed under: A4NH, Agri-Health, AHH, Chickens, Consumption, Dairying, Event, FSZ, ILRI, Kenya, Nutrition, Pro-Poor Livestock Tagged: Carmen Jaquez, Delia Grace, Jennifer Lane, Land O'Lakes International Development, Paula Dominguez-Salas, Robyn Alders, University of Syndey, USAID, webinar

Call for applications: Data management and genotyping-by-sequencing analysis workshop

Beca news -

The BecA-ILRI Hub seeks to strengthen the capacity of the African scientific community, to conduct bioscience research and significantly contribute to improved agricultural products that can enhance livelihoods of farmers in the region.

As part of this capacity building programme, the BecA-ILRI Hub will hold a two-week training workshop on Data Management and GBS analysis from 5–16 June 2017. The first week of the workshop will focus on project organization, data management, data analysis, interpretation and visualization of various types of Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) datasets. The second week will cover Genotyping by Sequencing (GBS) data analysis and interpretation.

We are seeking applicants who require skills data management to support their research, priority will be given to participants who have NGS datasets, especially SNPs data. Researchers who are currently engaged in agricultural research within a national research organization or university are highly encouraged to apply.

About the program

The program will mainly address:

  1. Data cleaning, formatting and storage 
  2. Downstream statistical analyses for the following areas: (Metagenomics data, Genomics data, Transcriptomics data, Metabolomics data, Field data, Lab data, and other data)
  3. Variant discovery from SNPs data especially Diversity Array Technology (DArTseq) SNPs data
  4. Diversity analysis using TASSEL, R/RStudio, Structure.
  5. Genome-wide association study (GWAS) analysis
  6. Other GBS related topics.

A team of facilitators from the Ohio State University, USA; Earlham Institute, UK; collaborating CGIAR Centers and the BecA-ILRI Hub will conduct the training sessions.

Applicant requirements
  • A national of one of the following BecA countries: Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central Africa Republic, Congo Brazzaville, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Rwanda, São Tomé and Príncipe, Senegal, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. Applicants from other African countries may be considered. 
  • Currently engaged in biosciences research and having NGS data, especially SNPs.
  • Proficiency in molecular biology and genomics
  • Holders of MSc or PhD in biological sciences
  • Good working knowledge of written and spoken English 

Women researchers are particularly encouraged to apply.

Application procedure

Online applications are submitted using the link given below:


*Please note that a letter of nomination/recommendation from head of department or home institution head is required.

*Incomplete applications will not be considered. 

Key dates
  • Call release: 2 May 2017
  • Application deadline: 14 May 2017
  • Notification to successful applicants: 16 May 2017

About the training venue 

The training workshop will be held at the BecA-ILRI Hub located within the ILRI Campus, Nairobi, Kenya. BecA-ILRI Hub is a shared agricultural research and biosciences platform located at and managed by ILRI in Nairobi, Kenya. The platform increases access to world-class laboratories for African and international scientists conducting research on African agricultural challenges. The BecA-ILRI Hub’s mission is mobilizing bioscience for Africa’s development, by providing a centre for excellence in agricultural biosciences. This enables research, capacity building and product incubation, conducted by scientists in Africa and for Africa, and empowers African institutions to harness innovations for regional impacts in improved agricultural productivity, income, and food and nutritional security. 

More information about the BecA-ILRI Hub is available at: http://hub.africabiosciences.org/ 




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