The international development and research communities are keenly focused on achieving and upscaling climate-smart agriculture (CSA), with a significant emphasis on delivering benefits to Africa’s smallholder farmers.
Whilst there is a high level of knowledge around what CSA technologies and practices work on the ground, there is still poor understanding of how smallholder farmers can achieve positive outcomes, as well as how to implement CSA effectively at scale.
Held on 31 March 2021, GCRF-AFRICAP’s most recent research seminar, ‘Implementing Climate-Smart Agriculture: Innovation, Inclusivity and Capacity-Building’, explored AFRICAP’s research into CSA implementation in Tanzania.
Dr Susannah Sallu set the stage for the event with an introduction to CSA in Tanzania, including an explanation of the benefits to agriculture and the current context surrounding implementation.
Marta Gaworek-Michalczenia kicked off research presentations with a discussion of her PhD research, which evaluates the livelihood resilience and vulnerability outcomes of an integrated climate adaptation intervention, in Muheza District, Tanzania.
Building on Gaworek-Michalczenia’s findings, Dr Harriet Smith presented her research, looking at two CSA interventions in neighbouring Muheza and Lushoto Districts. Smith’s presentation explored who has access to, and is able to benefit from CSA interventions, who does not, and why.
Recommendations and reflections
The research team ended their presentation with a set of seven recommendations to guide future CSA implementation:
- Prioritise long-term in-situ programmes at sub-national levels
- Design interventions in partnership with local communities, incorporating shared adaptation vision
- Apply risk-informed project design to avoid maladaptive outcomes
- Engage with existing power dynamics to ensure inclusivity and meaningfully engage the most vulnerable
- Broader programme monitoring is needed to capture non-linear innovation processes, consider trade-offs and avoid unintended outcomes
- Efforts to promote CSA should simultaneously support off-farm activities
- Research co-design is needed to generate targeted knowledge to support innovation and monitoring
According to Dr Sallu, next steps include supporting calls from farmers, agricultural extension and District officers to establish a District Learning Alliance in Muheza District, an initiative that the AFRICAP team is already undertaking.
Following the research presentations, seminar discussants Dr John Recha (Scientist for the CGIAR research programme on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security, International Livestock Research Institute) and Mr Prosper Makundi (Acting Head of the Environment Management Unit, Ministry of Agriculture, Tanzania) provided reflective responses, situating AFRICAP’s research within the broader ambitions for upscaling CSA across East and Southern Africa, as well as the national policy context in Tanzania.
Together, the pair highlighted the importance of engaging farmers using CSA practices, advancing gender equality and opportunities for youths, de-risking livelihoods on farms, and supporting prosperity through mobility and rural reinvigoration to ensure agriculture is a viable occupation for future generations.
The event closed with a Q&A, facilitated by the event chair Ms. Sithembile Mwamakamba (Director of Policy Research and Analysis at FANRPAN).
This event was hosted as part of the GCRF-AFRICAP seminar series. For more events on food systems and climate resilience in sub-Saharan Africa, visit the GCRF-AFRICAP events page.
View or download the presenter slides from Implementing Climate-Smart Agriculture: Innovation, Inclusivity and Capacity-Building.
- Smith H.E, Recha J, Sallu S.M, Whitfield S, Sayulla G, Mziray S, Gaworek-Michalczenia M.F. (2021). Smallholder farmers’ innovation systems in climate-smart agriculture: Interview findings from Tanga Region, Tanzania. CCAFS Info Note. Wageningen, the Netherlands: CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS). https://cgspace.cgiar.org/handle/10568/113049
- Gaworek-Michalczenia, M.F, Sallu S.M, Di Gregorio, M. (2020) Mediating Vulnerability and Livelihood Resilience in the East Usambara Mountains: Challenges, Opportunities and Lessons Learned. SRI Briefing Note Series No. 25. doi: 10.13140/RG.2.2.13137.07527
- Pilato, G., Sallu, S.M, Gaworek-Michalczenia, M.F. (2018) Assessing the integration of climate change and development strategies at local levels: insights from Muheza District, Tanzania. Sustainability 10(1): 174. https://doi.org/10.3390/su10010174