Increasing CSA evidence.

We’re working to increase the availability and use of CSA evidence. Vuna have commissioned and are publishing research on key topics that impact on climate change, the agriculture sector and the East and Southern African region.

Improving Climate Resilience of Value Chains

Project Ref Number: 6924-EL03

Active period and status:
Project implementation completed – July 2016 to December 2016

This main objective of this project was to test the proposition that if marketing chains are functioning well, farmers and agribusinesses should have greater opportunity and incentive to invest in climate smart practices. This was done through a review of literature for evidence on agribusiness responses to climate change and interviews with a cross-section of agribusinesses to assess responsiveness to climate risks. An inventory was established of current strategies employed by agribusinesses to respond to weather risks in order to identify how to better target assistance in building climate resilience into eastern and southern Africa’s value chains.

Target Problem:
Climate risks can undermine the expansion of agricultural value chains. These risks are most obvious in drought prone environments where low and variable rainfall increase the variability of commodity production and supply, and reduce profitability. Climate risks reduce incentives to invest in improved agricultural inputs. Risk averse farmers are less willing to try new technologies. The variable supply of commodity to the market makes it difficult to optimize trade and processing infrastructure, and lowers the profitability of these operations. Climate trends are likely to increase these climate risks. Rising temperatures will reduce the productivity of heat sensitive crop varieties. The combination of rising temperatures and high humidity can increase populations of insect pests, and the incidence of plant diseases. More variable rainfall leads to greater uncertainty about production levels, and a higher risk of not obtaining enough commodity to assure the profitability of trade infrastructure and processing plants. While agribusinesses in higher potential zones may worry less about current weather risks, many are concerned about possible climate changes.

Summary approach:
This project supported the preparation of an Evidence and Learning Report based on the results of a review of literature on agribusiness response to climate risks, and a survey of a cross section of agribusinesses in diverse agro-ecological zones in three countries in eastern and southern Africa. The report summarised lessons for agribusiness development, and made recommendations for development projects working to build value chains.

Results / findings to date:
The development of an Evidence and Learning Report reviewing the ways in which agribusinesses are responding to rising climate risks in ESA was completed internally in December 2016. A 2-page information brief was also developed. The Evidence and Learning Report and information brief will be broadly distributed and findings will be discussed in national and regional fora.