Farming Systems

Theme Lead

Stephen Whitfield – University of Leeds

Through cross-disciplinary research, we are building a picture of present day agriculture and food systems in Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia, as a basis for envisaging and evaluating possible futures for these systems.

We are drawing together existing knowledge on the opportunities and challenges for climate-smart agriculture and on the broader policy and institutional environment in which agricultural and food system change is taking place.

We are co-developing and carrying out research across that incorporates agronomy, climate science, ecology, social and political science, plant science, and food science and nutrition.

This collaborative research will also incorporate training and building capacity amongst UK and African scholars.

In each country we will carry out a scenario-building exercise, working with key stakeholders to describe potential futures for agri-food systems and plausible trajectories of change in diets, climate, food production, trade, land-use emissions, agricultural technologies and socio-economics up to 2050. Our cross-disciplinary research will help to establish baselines for these future scenarios and to evaluate technologies, land management practices, institutional environments, and knowledge gaps associated with them.

Our experimental on-farm research aims to fill knowledge gaps and enable knowledge exchange between local farmers and UK and in-country agronomists, covering areas such as soil conservation, post-harvest storage, fungal toxin contamination, crop breeding, and crop pests and pollinators. We are also using socio-economic tools to assess the vulnerability of households to climate change, their access to resources and information, and the effectiveness of different forms of information sharing and technology promotion.

Research will be carried out in collaboration with academic, policy and industry partners, and the research findings and discussions over their implications for policy and practice will feed into the wider policy engagement activity taking place within GCRF-AFRICAP.


Climate Resilient Agriculture Success Stories – Making a Case for Scale Up Webinar Summary

On 28 November 2019, the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) in partnership with the (GIZ) GmbH, SADC Programme on Adaptation to Climate Change in Rural Areas in Southern Africa (ACCRA), the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT), the Centre for…

Continue Reading Climate Resilient Agriculture Success Stories – Making a Case for Scale Up Webinar Summary

Work Packages
  • WP1: Climate Smart Food Systems (CSFS) Policy Evaluation and Evidence based Enhancement and Trialling in Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia
  • WP2: Evaluation of CA Interventions in Maize-based systems of central and southern Malawi
  • WP3: Characterising and Evaluating models of climate-smart agriculture and food system (CSAFS) innovation and intervention in Tanzania
  • WP4: Assessing key drivers and determinants of food loss, aflatoxins, and impact on nutrition and health in Africa
  • WP5: Crop Breeding and Seed Systems for Climate Change Adaptation in Zambia and South Africa
  • WP6: Ecological and economic flows between commercial and smallholder agriculture in South Africa
  • WP7: Root system architecture and rhizosphere interactions for climate-smart agriculture in Malawi and Tanzania
  • WP8: Climate Science for AFRICAP