Tag Archives: agriculture

New project launch “Supporting Pastoralism and Agriculture in Recurrent and Protracted Crises” (SPARC)

This week the Supporting Pastoralism and Agriculture in Recurrent and Protracted Crises (SPARC) research programme has been launched. Led by Cowater, ODI, the International Livestock Research Institute and Mercy Corps and funded by FCDO, the six-year programme will develop and share knowledge to help the international development community better assist pastoralists, agro-pastoralists and farmers living with climate change, protracted crises and ongoing conflicts.

Partnering with local researchers and organisations, as well as drawing on the expertise of its core partners, SPARC is generating knowledge to build the resilience of millions of people living in agricultural, pastoral and transitional communities in the drylands stretching from east to west Africa. Kulima director, Dr Katharine Vincent, is part of the programme management team as the Gender Equality and Social Inclusion Advisor.

Biemruok Cattle Camp Bentiu South Sudan – image by UNMISS – CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

“Exploring the adaptive capacity of sugarcane contract farming schemes in the face of extreme events” New paper with inputs from Kulima

A new paper “Exploring the adaptive capacity of sugarcane contract farming schemes in the face of extreme events” has just been published in the journal Frontiers in Climate. The paper, led by Rebecka Henriksson with Katharine Vincent and Kivana Naidoo from the UMFULA project team, developed a framework to determine adaptive capacity and then assess how this changed over time to mediate the impacts when different contract farming schemes were exposed to climate hazards, as shown through different production levels.

The Phata and Kasinthula sugar outgrower (contract farming) schemes are both in Chikwawa district in southern Malawi. As a result, they are similarly exposed to extreme events, but have shown different impacts in terms of sugarcane production. Looking over the last 10 years, the total level and components of adaptive capacity differ in several aspects. Phata had much better prerequisites to mitigate the impacts of the extreme events (i.e. maintain production), particularly related to the components of the adaptive capacity framework, i.e. the Asset base, Knowledge and information, Innovation, and Forward-looking decision-making. Kasinthula had limited capacity to recover from the severe 2015 floods, the adaptive capacity was thus drawn upon and had not been replenished by the time the next event occurred (drought). This novel, comparative approach to assessing adaptive capacity, linking to past events, is useful in determining the components of adaptive capacity that are missing and need to be built in order to reduce risk from extreme events and climate change.

“Reflections on a key component of co-producing climate services: Defining climate metrics from user needs” New paper from the UMFULA project, led by Kulima

An output of the Future Climate For Africa UMFULA project has just been published in Climate Services journal. "Reflections on a key component of co-producing climate services: Defining climate metrics from user needs" was led by Katharine Vincent, with Emma Archer, Rebecka Henriksson, Joanna Pardoe and Neha Mittal. It is a methodological piece that unpacks the iterative process applied within UMFULA to determine what climate information would be of use to our partners in the water and agriculture sectors to better plan for the impacts of climate change over a 5-40 year period. It discusses how the choice and application of four existing social science methods (interview-informed role play workshop, open-ended interviews, prioritised surveys and enhanced surveys) arose out of, and was in turn embedded within, a different epistemological approach characteristic of co-production, and reflect on the evolution of our understanding of co-production as our assumptions were challenged, from the expectation that we would be able to “obtain” metrics from users, to a dynamic mutual definition based on better understanding of the decision-making contexts.

Kulima participating in UMFULA project writeshop in Pretoria

Dr Katharine Vincent is in Pretoria this week, joining colleagues Professor Andy Dougill from the University of Leeds and Professor Emma Archer from the University of Pretoria for a writeshop on the UMFULA project. As it comes to the end of its lifespan, they will synthesise key findings on climate information for medium-term planning in the water, energy and agriculture sectors for Malawi, taking into account the current policy and institutional context and information needs of the new National Planning Commission. 

Kulima hosting a writeshop on climate services for the UMFULA project

This week Kulima is hosting a writeshop in South Africa for members of the UMFULA project (under the Future Climate For Africa programme). The writeshop will be attended by team members from the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, University of Leeds and University of Kwazulu Natal. The aim is to compare, contrast and synthesise findings from research conducted in Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia. Planned papers relate to the political economy of climate change in each country, insights into effective and equitable adaptation options for small-scale commodity (tea and sugar) farmers, and analysis of how to best visualise climate information so that the intended message is effectively understood by planners.

“Climate change adaptation and cross-sectoral policy coherence in southern Africa” just published in Regional Environmental Change

A new paper, "Climate change adaptation and cross-sectoral policy coherence in southern Africa" has just been published in Regional Environmental Change. The paper is an output of the UMFULA project, and was led by Matthew England from the University of Leeds with Kulima director, Dr Katharine Vincent, as one of the authors. Using the cases of Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia, the paper investigates the extent of coherence in national policies across the water and agriculture sectors and to climate change adaptation goals outlined in national development plans. Findings show that sector policies have differing degrees of coherence on climate change adaptation, currently being strongest in Zambia and weakest in Tanzania. Sectoral policies remain more coherent in addressing immediate-term disaster management issues of floods and droughts rather than longer-term strategies for climate adaptation. Policy coherence is more likely where there are cross-ministerial structures in place, for example Zambia's Interim Climate Change Secretariat. 

IFPRI and Kulima publish project note on seasonal forecasts in South Africa

IFPRI SAHEWS project noteThe International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and Kulima Integrated Development Solutions have released a project note on "Improving effective use of seasonal forecasts in South Africa". This is an output of the "Southern Africa Hydro-Economy and Water Security" project, funded by the Belmont Forum's International Opportunities Fund. Together with partners from the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, the University of East Anglia's Water Security Research CentreSouth Africa's Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, and UEA's Climatic Research Unit, the note outlines ways of improving effectiveness of seasonal forecasts based on primary research with stakeholders in the water, agriculture and disaster preparedness and response sectors in South Africa. 

Kulima director in Tanzania to assess climate services needs within the UMFULA project

planning TanzaniaDr Katharine Vincent is in Tanzania this week as part of a team from UMFULA. The "Uncertainty Reduction in Models for Understanding Development Applications" (UMFULA) project is part of the Future Climate for Africa programme, and concerned with climate services in Africa. Representatives of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, the University of Manchester and Sokoine University are undertaking a preliminary workshop in Iringa in the Rufiji basin. Katharine and a colleague from the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research are in Dar es Salaam to scope climate information needs among government departments in the agriculture, water and energy sectors.

Kulima director participates in IPCC Expert Meeting on Climate Change, Food and Agriculture

kids in the fieldsDr Katharine Vincent is in Dublin this week to participate in the IPCC Expert Meeting on Climate Change, Food and Agriculture. She will be making a presentation on "Food production and food security" during a plenary session which gives an overview of food security. The expert meeting is being convened as a result of a decision by the IPCC bureau at its 40th session to consider existing information on the topic, and to recommend possible further action, including the options of producing a Technical Paper or Special Report, or to address the matter in the forthcoming assessment cycle. Katharine was also one of 13 members of the meeting's planning committee.

Kulima supports drafting of Climate Change Plan of Action for the Health Sector in Mozambique

workshop presentation-MaputoDr Katharine Vincent and Ms Tracy Cull have been working with the Ministerio da Saude (Ministry of Health) to finalise a Climate Change Plan of Action for the Health Sector in Mozambique. The plan builds on a recent workshop attended by national and provincial level health representatives to identify actions and priority activities for the five year period from 2015-2019. That workshop was informed by a report summarising recommendations from two sources: a World Bank report into health sector priorities in Mozambique; and an earlier report resulting from CDKN-funded research undertaken by Kulima, in collaboration with the Universidade Eduardo Mondlane and CSIR, into climate change, health, agriculture and disasters in the country.