Climate change and climate variability are expected to have a significant impact on cocoa production in Ghana, the second largest exporter in the world, and to address this CGIAR, through its global Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) research programme, recently launched an initiative which uses ‘Climate Smart Agriculture’ (CSA) to respond to farmers’ needs.
“CSA includes many of the concepts that form the backbone of sustainable agriculture. It is also capable of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from farming and helping farmers, governments, companies and NGOs to understand the risks posed by climate change, manage them better, and become more resilient,” said CGIAR.
The new project focuses on ‘mainstreaming’ CSA in cocoa farming through applied climate science, certified supply chains, and the concept of ‘impact investing.’
Specific attention will be given to ways in which public and private actors can collaborate to promote whole-system adaptation that is viable in the medium to long term and includes the rural poor, particularly vulnerable groups. The project uses existing value chain interventions with smallholder coffee and cocoa systems in Africa and Latin America as models. It will translate climate science into adaptable strategies for farmers and supporting actors including industry, certifiers, and investors.
The project aims to assess climate change exposure at a subnational scale; develop appropriate CSA practices with farmers, incorporating cash crops and food crops to increase the resilience of these systems; and codify practices in adaptation guidelines. The guidelines will be made available through certification training and will be used to develop innovative impact investment products that will help finance and increase the adoption of adaptation strategies.