This blog was originally published on the CIAT blog.
Written by Sebastian Grey and John Recha
At an event held on 27 March 2018 at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) Campus in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the recently developed Ethiopia Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA) Country Profile was officially shared with national stakeholders and partners. The profile is the product of a collaborative effort between the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) – lead Center of the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) – and the Bureau for Food Security of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under the Feed the Future initiative.
The Ethiopia CSA profile contains a brief yet comprehensive overview of the agricultural context and challenges in the country through a climate-smart agriculture lens; providing a snapshot of key issues, climate-related challenges, CSA practices, relevant policies, and financing opportunities geared towards the promotion and sustained adoption of CSA interventions along specific value chains and in different agro-ecological regions.
The profile launch event was opened by the ILRI Director General’s representative in Ethiopia, Dr. Siboniso Moyo. It began with a presentation by CIAT’s Global CSA Profiles Coordinator, Sebastian Grey, who acknowledged the excellent policy environment and efforts to promote various CSA practices in Ethiopia. He also noted that coordination of CSA actors, both within and across sectors such as agriculture, forestry, and water, could still be strengthened to achieve national policy goals. A panel discussion on the profile was facilitated by the CCAFS East Africa Regional Program Leader, Dr. Dawit Solomon with panelists from the Ethiopian Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources (MoANR), the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR) and the Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA).
Among the key issues discussed and highlighted was that climate-smart practices are site-specific. Mr. Tilaye Nigussie, Senior Director of Crosscutting Initiatives at ATA, emphasized the need for CSA practices to take into account the specific local context, particularly given the large agroecological and cultural diversity in Ethiopia. He went on to highlight other key issues for the sustained adoption of CSA in the country. These include mainstreaming of CSA into the agricultural extension package and ensuring availability of CSA inputs such as leguminous crop seeds and forage seeds, while also guaranteeing access to output markets.
The need for climate services to enhance climate-informed farmer decision making was also highlighted. Dr. Degefie Tibebe, EIAR Director of the Climate and Geospatial Research Program, indicated that climate services combined with crop and climate modeling, improved weather, and climate information could help identify appropriate climate-smart practices and management strategies in different locations of Ethiopia. He emphasized that improved and more precise management of agricultural inputs could also contribute to greenhouse gas mitigation in agriculture. Related examples he gave included minimizing excess application of inorganic fertilizers that contribute to nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions. He indicated that all stakeholders have a role to play in supporting the promotion and adoption of CSA, including the Ethiopia National Meteorology Agency (NMA).
Government programmes on CSA were also highlighted in the profile, with Mr. Girma Kibret of the Sustainable Land Management (SLM) Program of MoANR, describing how the Ministry’s work is contributing to building resilient and climate-smart landscapes through support to scaling up of small-scale irrigation, income-generating activities (such as beekeeping) and soil and water conservation practices. However, he indicated that common practices, such as open grazing, challenge implementation of area closures and crop residue management components of conservation agriculture.
Key issues and needs that emerged from the discussion include:
- The possibility of taking CSA profiling to sub-national level. Various approaches are possible including climate-risk profiling at agroecological zone level, district (or other administrative) level, or even at commodity level (for example for teff, beans, coffee, or any other key commodity).
- Enhancing the implementation and monitoring of the country’s suite of CSA-related policies and strategies.
- Strengthening the national agricultural extension system and extension partners on CSA.
- Ensuring local-level climate and context analyses as inputs into the identification of locally appropriate climate-smart practices.
- Ensuring national agricultural investments are climate smart.
- Enhancing farmers’ access to CSA-related inputs such as leguminous seeds and conservation agriculture equipment.
- Catalyzing private sector investments in CSA.
- Placing greater focus and undertaking more research on livestock-based CSA practices given that the livestock sector contributes the greatest agricultural greenhouse gas emissions.
The CSA profiles are based on the previous work commissioned and led by the World Bank Group to identify country-specific baselines and entry points for scaling out CSA, through data analysis and a series of dialogues with national stakeholders. The work complements the CSA Profiles series developed since 2014 by the World Bank, CIAT, and CCAFS for countries in Latin America, Asia, Eastern and Central Europe, and Africa (https://ccafs.cgiar.org/publications/csa-country-profiles).
The complete portfolio of Africa CSA Profiles will be officially launched at an event held at the Africa Climate-Smart Agriculture Congress on 17 of May 2018. For more details on this event, please visit: http://csa-africa.aidforum.org/agenda/
For more information on the CSA Profiles, in general, please visit: https://ccafs.cgiar.org/publications/csa-country-profiles
Sebastian Grey is the Climate-Smart Agriculture Profiles Coordinator at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT).
John Recha is the Participatory Action Research (PAR) Specialist at the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), East Africa.