Crop breeding for climate resilience in southern Africa: Opportunities and principles for integrating climate model projections

Date(s) - 27/01/2021
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm


Targeting resilience to climate change within seed systems is an area of key investment in contributing to food security in southern Africa, and it presents a variety of challenges and opportunities.

In our first free webinar of 2021, University of Leeds researchers Dr Stephen Whitfield and Dr Sarah Chapman will present analysis from work undertaken with the GCRF-AFRICAP programme on characterising current efforts to breed climate resilient crops in southern Africa. They will consider and demonstrate some of the potential applications of climate models in informing breeding priorities and strategies, and discuss some of the principles of pitfalls associated.

Following the presentation, discussant Justify Shava (Head of the SADC Plant Genetic Resources Centre) will provide a response from the practitioner’s perspective, situating the GCRF-AFRICAP research within the broader context of African seed systems and climate resilience. The event will close with a Q&A period.

This seminar is hosted by the GCRF-AFRICAP programme in partnership with the Global Food and Environment Institute, University of Leeds. For more free seminars on food systems and climate resilience in sub-Saharan Africa, visit the GCRF-AFRICAP events page.

Register to attend Crop Breeding for Climate Resilience in Southern Africa on Wednesday, 27 January from 13:00 – 14:30 (GMT).


Dr Stephen Whitfield, Associate Professor in Climate Change and Food Security at University of Leeds

Dr. Stephen Whitfield is an associate professor at the University of Leeds and the Zambia country coordinator for the AFRICAP programme. He is directly involved in research on climate resilient seed systems, the diffusion and adoption of agricultural innovations, and conservation agriculture. Stephen also leads related research projects on agricultural climate services, and on agriculture and food system transformation and justice.


Dr Sarah Chapman, Research Fellow, Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences at University of Leeds

Dr Sarah Chapman is a Research Fellow within the Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences (ICAS) at the University of Leeds. For the GCRF-AFRICAP project, she is working on climate change and agriculture in East Africa, using a convection-permitting model applied to present-day and future climates.


Discussant: Justify Shava, Head of SADC Plant Genetic Resources Centre in Zambia

Justify Gotami Shava is the Head of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Plant Genetic Resources Centre (SPGRC) based in Lusaka, Republic of Zambia where he coordinates the promotion of conservation and sustainable utilization of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture in the 16 SADC member states.



Register to attend Crop Breeding for Climate Resilience in Southern Africa on Wednesday, 27 January from 13:00 – 14:30 (GMT).