More effective agricultural systems and practices are urgently needed to decrease hunger and improve economic development, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa. Although the Foundation is making a major difference through its investments in the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), the predicted impacts of climate change could threaten the success and sustainability of this green revolution.
Production of maize—a critical staple—is expected to drop by 30% in southern Africa by 2030 as a result of climate change.
The Foundation’s Developing Climate Change Resilience initiative seeks to help poor and vulnerable communities prepare for, withstand, and recover from the negative effects of climate change. A key focus of this work is insuring that resilience strategies are a more integral part of agricultural research, development, planning, training, capacity building and implementation in African countries. This, in turn, strengthens the resilience of smallholder farmers to climate variability and change, giving current investments in improving African agriculture a greater impact over the long term.
The Rockefeller Foundation is helping to ensure the ability of poor and vulnerable smallholder African farmers to maintain, increase, and improve their own agricultural production despite climate change. To accomplish this, the African Agriculture component of the Foundation’s Developing Climate Change Resilience initiative is
- helping agricultural research and development organizations in Africa integrate climate change resilience measures into their practice;
- testing interventions that could be implemented more extensively in African countries to build resilience to climate change;
- developing the necessary scientific evidence base and policy environment to promote agricultural resilience-building in Africa; and
- building the required capacity that will enable a core of African agricultural scientists and development experts to execute best practices in climate change resilience measures.
- Capacity Building
Agricultural research and development centers enhance their internal capacity and a cohort of African agricultural scientists and development experts are trained to address the major climate related agricultural challenges that will affect food systems for poor people in Africa.
- Knowledge and Experimentation
African agricultural research and development institutions and others engage in experimentation to produce innovative approaches to increased stability of agricultural production needed to help smallholder farmers meet their own basic food security and income needs.
- Partnerships and Resource Mobilization
New partnerships and networks among major stakeholders (e.g., agriculture research institutions, climate science organizations, governments, NGOs, donors) are formed to leverage resources (human capacity, information, funds, research results, infrastructure) aimed at improving the enabling environment necessary for building the climate resilience of smallholder farming systems in Africa.
- Enabling Policies
Policy frameworks are generated and implemented that allow the integration of climate information into agricultural development practice, facilitate experimentation in building climate resilience, and strengthen institutional partnerships needed to support smallholder farmers.