Making the best of climate – Adapting agriculture to climate variability
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The world community is increasingly concerned about growing food insecurity, malnutrition, and poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and the inability of these countries to achieve growth rates required to meet the targets of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG). The high dependence of African countries on rainfed agriculture, whose productivity and profitability is largely determined by rainfall variability, is one of the critical reasons for Africa’s inability to respond effectively to the developmental challenges. There is also a growing consensus among scientists and policy makers that the expected changes in climate from global warming will further exacerbate the problem.


The relatively high vulnerability of Eastern and Central African countries to the impacts of climate change is mainly attributed to its low adaptive capacity. To reduce the continent’s vulnerability to climatic stresses as well as to prepare for future climate change, there is a need to strengthen the adaptive capacity of the region. This requires, among other things, increased scientific understanding of the impacts of, and vulnerability to climatic variability and the development of options to respond to these changes through adaptation. This project aims at achieving this by enhancing adoption of improved risk management strategies. It aims at providing access to climate information, developing tools for tactical decision making, and adapting agricultural practices to existing climate variability which will significantly enhance the agriculture sector’s ability to manage risk and take advantage of opportunities as they arise. This will be achieved by analysing crucial aspects of the past experiences and fully exploring the new opportunities created by new science tools like seasonal climate forecasts and system simulation analysis. The project targets semi-arid areas where conservative low risk management approaches adopted by the farmers are failing to meet the required increases in productivity and profitability.


This will be achieved by developing appropriate methodologies, policy briefs, capacity strengthening, and avail relevant information and knowledge on uptake and scaling up of soil fertility management technologies. This will result in improved soil fertility and consequently crop productivity. The lessons learnt from this project will have a regional applicability and can be used to design research for development projects not only in the project countries but also across the East and Central Africa (ECA) sub-region. This project is envisaged to be implemented over a 2.5-year period starting from May 2009 to 2011 in accordance with the schedule outlined in Annex III. The budget for activities outlined in this project will amount to USD 433,2389.00. The funds will be used to finance activities as per the expenditure budget listed in Annex II.


Kenya Agricultural reserach Institute (KARI)

International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT)

Kenya Meteological Department


Société Malagasy d'Etudes et d'Applications Hydrauliques (SOMEAH)

Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR)


433,240 USD
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