By Kofi Adu Domfeh in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
The Africa Climate-Smart Agriculture Alliance (CSA) has been launched in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, with a goal of reaching 25million farm households by 2025.
The Alliance is Africa’s leading platform to catalyze result-oriented and on-the-ground implementation support in response to both the challenges and opportunities that climate change bring.
This is towards the attainment of the Africa Union Vision on CSA, within the context of Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP) and the overarching AU-NEPAD Framework on Agriculture-Climate Change.
The 2014 Malabo Declaration by African Heads of State and Government prioritized the agriculture-climate change nexus as critical factor in the next ten years (2015-2025) of the CAADP implementation.
“For many years now we’ve heard voices and witnessed the effects of climate change on agriculture in our continent; crop failures and death of livestock have become more frequent, leading to economic losses, undermining food security and contributing to higher food prices,” observed Mrs Estherine Fotabong,NEPAD Programmes Director.
She therefore believes the Africa CSA Alliance will help address the concerns of countries and communities in the implementation of programmes that impact on livelihoods and development.
“In order to make rural transformation attainable, climate change needs to be also mainstreamed in the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), Africa’s instrument for agricultural growth and economic development,” Mrs Fotabong said.
Climate change is projected to have severe impact on agricultural productivity on the continent, according to the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Climate Smart Agriculture is defined as agriculture that sustainably increases productivity, resilience and adaptation, as well as contributes towards reducing the emission of greenhouse gases – leading to overall food security and nutrition in the face of climate change.
Ethiopia’s State Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Ato Sileshi Getahun, says the Alliance provides an opportunity to take concrete action in climate change for the benefit of African agriculture.
He noted that Ethiopia has moved beyond the rhetoric of defining and understanding what climate change and its effects is all about, to implementing concrete projects to address the challenges.
“With Agriculture as the mainstay of Africa’s economy, it is important that we invest in and practice climate smart agriculture,” stated Mr. Gatahun. “We need to show the rest of the world our adaptive capacity and remain positive that more development partners will come on board to help Africa upscale all the various CSA investments on the continent”.
Meanwhile, the maiden forum of the Africa Climate-Smart Agriculture Alliance has opened on the theme: Fostering Alignment and Harmonization in the CSA Efforts in Africa”.
Participants drawn from farmer organizations, civil society, technical institutions, private sector, regional economic communities and development partners, are contributing to building shared understanding of CSA and broaden accessible information on CSA initiatives across the continent.