Planting the Seed of CSA, a pathway for out scaling
The Mount Longonot Reserve, away from hectic Nairobi, disconnected from internet and surrounded by open bush-land, a unusual place for work meetings?
Not at all; it was the perfect set up for the Annual Retreat of CIAT/IITA/ICRAF/CCAFS‘s interdisciplinary project team, working on methods and tools for out scaling Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) in East Africa. The IFAD funded project “Increasing food security and farming system resilience in East Africa through wide-scale adoption of climate-smart agricultural practices” aims to improve food security and farming system resilience of smallholder mixed crop-livestock farmers in East Africa while mitigating climate change.
In a first exercise, participants communicated their individual vision of project goals to the other participants as a brain appetizer for the following brainstorming exercise of “What is needed” and to construct a pathway to out scaling CSA.
Under the common Vision “Planting the Seed of CSA”, people highlighted that the project needs to:
- Show evidence for CSA in East Africa
- Identify the local needs and develop locally appropriate packages for farmers
- Tracking of farming CSA uptakes using modern ICT technologies
- Understand why farmers do and do not adopt
- Share and wide-spread local and scientific knowledge about CSA
- Build partnerships
- Do strong Communication
In the second day Speed Talks and Activity Updates were presented, the following topics were intensively discussed by the project team:
- Using CSA-RA, a rapid Rural Appraisal for local Prioritization of CSA in all 4 studty sites (developed by the project team for the Northern Uganda site, lead by C. Mwongera)
- Update on the ICRAF CSA compendium work and linkage to the local prioritization work and CSA-RA (C. Lamana)
- Setting up Randomized Control Trials (RCT) in Northern Uganda to measure adoption rates (PhD research by K. Mashisia)
- Linking socio-economic & land health data (LDSF landscape sampling, L.Winowiecki)
- Use Indicators from crop modeling for Trade-Off Analysis (DSSAT & TOA, A.Eitzinger)
- Research questions to be answered with the intra-household gender survey, using ICT tools for optimizing data collection costs (W. Okolo, J. Twyman)
- Update on demonstration Plots in Lushoto (demonstrations started late 2014 in Lushoto and will be continued on all 4 project sites within the project lifespan, L. Winowiecki, C. Mwongera)
- Monitoring and Evaluation of demonstrations and adoption of CSA using other CIAT approaches: 5Q – Ask 5 simple questions, CSA Implementer interactive platform (OFID funded project), A. Eitzinger
- How to align to CCAFS/IFAD project on economic valuation (P. Läderach)
- Policy actions, Gender research, Platforms and link to PACCA (Policy Action for Climate Change Adaptation – CCAFS Flagship project) – CSA Alliance, Learning Alliances, … (E. Ampaire, P. Van Asten).
- Outputs and Communication pieces for out scaling (Shamba Shape Up, radio, blogs, infographics and Conference participation, L. Winowiecki)
Finally, a detailed activity planning was carried out by Action Sites for the year 2015. The IFAD Project is working in: