Ukama Ustawi: Diversification for Resilient Agribusiness Ecosystems in East and Southern Africa
East and Southern Africa is a climate hotspot, with more than US$45 billion in agricultural production at risk from higher temperatures, shorter growing seasons, and more extreme droughts and floods. Maize, a staple crop covering up to 75% of cropland in parts of the region, is particularly vulnerable, projected to face yield declines of 15%, among other climate impacts. Many of the affected areas already have serious levels of hunger and malnutrition, with the highest burden experienced by women and youth from marginalized, vulnerable communities.
The next decade will be critical for strengthening food, land and water systems in East and Southern Africa. The region’s agribusiness ecosystem has been identified as a critical engine for agricultural and economic development, climate change adaptation, and gender and youth empowerment. Investment in innovation, capabilities and supportive environments will be essential for driving sustainable growth that benefits all.
This Initiative — the name of which means “well-being” — aims to support climate-resilient agriculture and livelihoods in 12 countries in East and Southern Africa by helping millions of smallholders intensify, diversify and de-risk maize-mixed farming through improved extension services, enterprise development and private investment.