Child focused development organisation World Vision has joined an African Union partnership – along with eight other agencies – to reach millions of rural families with climate-smart agriculture approaches that will allow them to produce nutritious and environmentally sustainable crops.
Known as the Africa Climate-Smart Agriculture Alliance, the partnership – launched on June 25 at a summit in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea – will contribute to the African Union’s goal of helping 25 million farmers become food secure by 2025.
The Climate-Smart Alliance unites organisations like World Vision with academics and governments to quickly scale up on-farm assistance, link rural workers to technological advances and support a favourable policy environment.
The partnership will assist farmers like Gadoode Hussein from Somalia, whose village suffered from prolonged drought, followed by devastating flash floods. A World Vision project used new farming techniques to bind topsoil and retain moisture. “When we started, we did not realise how fast the massive degradation could be reversed,” Gadoode said. “We thought we had lost everything forever.”
“In future we hope that our sons and daughters will not travel long distances for workable land. We want them to have more time to attend school.”
Speaking at the launch event, New Partnership for Africa’s Development CEO Dr Ibrahim Mayaki said “Climate change is affecting the poorest of the poor disproportionately, especially small-holder farmers, who make up 80 percent of the population in Sub-Saharan Africa.
“The Alliance, through collective expertise, resources and on-the-ground experience, will focus on helping millions of farm families adapt practices, capacities and skills that will increase resilience while drought, floods and other weather-related events threaten their livelihoods.”
World Vision’s Director of Agriculture and Food Security, Douglas Brown, said the Alliance will capitalise on the expertise of each partner to ensure most vulnerable rural communities are reached. “Members of the Climate-Smart Alliance will work collaboratively to design and implement programmes in a way which maximises the efficiency, effectiveness and impact of investments.”
Members of the Alliance are World Vision, CARE, Catholic Relief Services and Concern Worldwide. Four technical partners will ensure the most up-to-date information and evaluation capacity. They are the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN), the research consortium CGIAR, and the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA).