NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Africa’s crop research body is set to start
commercializing climate smart maize variety in Sub Saharan
Africa (SSA) to help save farmers from experiencing complete
crop loss when drought and insects affect their farms.
Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) will commence the
commercialization process after securing 27 million U.S. dollars
grant from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF).
“We intend to offer
dependable solutions to farmers and reach the countries within
the next five years,” Denis Kyetere, Executive Director of AATF,
told journalists on Wednesday.
Kyetere said that
the initiative will help promote the role of biotechnology in
coping with climate change in the countries to be covered.
He said that the
amount will go towards deregulation and commercialization of
transgenic insect-pest protected maize hybrids (trademarked as
TELA maize) in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Mozambique and Ethiopia,
over the next five years.
“The grant from BMGF
will help us scale impact of transgenic products to help farmers
across target countries grow varieties that are not affected by
drought and pests,” he added.
Africa is a
drought-prone continent, making farming risky for millions of
smallholder farmers who rely on rainfall to water their crops.
“Maize is the most
widely grown staple crop in the region where more than 300
million farmers depend on it as their main food source yet it is
severely affected by frequent drought,” Kyetere noted.
Scientists launch guide to tap
investment in climate smart agriculture in Africa
NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Scientists from the International Center for
Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) on Wednesday launched a guide aimed
at tapping investment in climate smart agriculture in Africa.
The detailed guide
on the status and opportunities for investment in climate smart
agriculture in 14 African countries provide, for the first time,
a scientific framework to guide future climate smart agriculture
financing in the continent.
agriculture practices seek to help farmers adapt to changing
weather patterns, while reducing emissions and boosting food
security,” Evan Girvetz, Senior Scientist at CIAT and project
team leader said during a global conference to fast-track
adoption of climate-smart strategies in Africa in Nairobi.
that for many large donors, private sector companies and African
governments, investing in African agriculture is still extremely
“Our data and
evidence based report aim to reduce that risk, by providing a
detailed analysis of the most effective approaches to the
sustained adoption of climate smart agriculture from a local to
a national level,” he added.
The scientist noted
that the impacts from climate change on people in Sub-Saharan
Africa are expected to be some of the greatest compared to other
regions by 2,100, yet the continent currently only receives 5
percent of climate funding.
Ademola Braimoh, the
World Bank Coordinator for climate smart agriculture said that
large-scale investments in climate-smart agriculture need to be
based on solid evidence that provide productivity and climate
“With the work from
CIAT scientists, we are now far better equipped to make
financing decisions to climate-proof African agriculture in
these countries,” Ademola said.
The project focuses
on Senegal, Rwanda, Mozambique, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia,
Ethiopia, Côte D’Ivoire, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Benin, Niger and
It provide a
snapshot of the key issues such as climate impacts, climate
smart agriculture practices, relevant policies, and financing
opportunities for scaling up the promotion and sustained
adoption of climate smart agriculture interventions.
The researchers have
noted in details policy and investment recommendations based on
an analysis of current drivers and constraints to adoption the
“There is an
insatiable appetite from African governments for up-to-date
information on how to implement climate-smart agriculture,”
Robert Zougmore, Africa Lead on Climate Change, Agriculture and
Food Security (CCAFS) said.
He said that the
climate smart agriculture profile is being used to inform
national climate change plans and programs in Senegal.
“The creation of
profiles for three states in Nigeria has been requested by the
UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), demonstrating the
high demand for this data West Africa-wide,” he added.