CCARDESA Convenes a Maize Value Chain Project Inception Workshop in Harare
From 25-26 January 2017, CCARDESA convened a project inception workshop at Cresta Lodge, Harare, Zimbabwe for the project “Climate proofing the maize value chain: out-scaling climate-smart technologies to smallholder farmers in Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe”. The project is being implemented at national level by the Zambia Agricultural Research Institute (ZARI), CIMMYT, Ministry of Agriculture (Agritex), Zimbabwe, Machina Agriculture Development Division (ADD) (Ministry of Agriculture Irrigation and Water Development in Malawi), and Total Land Care (TLC) Malawi, with collaborative regional coordination of CCARDESA and GIZ under the SADC Programme on Climate Change Adaptation for Rural Areas in Southern Africa (ACCRA). The project goal is to contribute to increased agricultural productivity, food security and climate resilience of smallholder farmers managing maize-based farming systems in Zambia, Malawi and Zimbabwe. It aims to deliver evidence on how to build resilience in the maize value chain which can be transferable to other countries within the SADC region. The objective of the workshop was to officially launch the project and discuss the project implementation modalities across the three countries. The workshop was officially opened by CCARDESA and ZARI. In the opening remarks, CCARDESA appreciated the broad representation of participants from the three countries and hoped the two days would play a key role in developing a road map to the projects’ success. Mr. Mwale, the Director for ZARI highlighted the importance of the interdependence of ecological and social systems, when talking about adaptation and resilience.
The meeting discussed critical elements relevant to the process of climate proofing of the maize value chain. ACCRA’s approach to climate proofing consists of the following steps – vulnerability analysis, identifying and prioritizing climate-smart best practices and technologies, piloting selected practices and documenting evidence in feasibility studies. These steps lead to the development of agricultural investment proposals to support the scaling of climate-smart agriculture. The implementation is based on a participatory approach as all steps are accompanied by stakeholder engagement and socialization at national and location levels. At the core of this project is the piloting of Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) best practices on-farm. This builds on long-term on-farm trials which CIMMYT has been implementing in selected countries, partnering with other stakeholders focusing on different conservation agriculture systems as a key climate-smart approach in Southern Africa.
In attendance, were government officers from the ministries of agriculture, both research and extension from the three members states, staff from Total Land Care, Malawi; CIMMYT and GIZ/ACCRA.
This post was written by Nathaniel Mtunji. Nathaniel is a Senior Advisor with the SADC Programme on Climate Change Adaptation for Rural Areas in Southern Africa (ACCRA)