Training on the Future of Resilient Food systems in Africa to Promote Digital Climate-Informed Solutions (DCAS)

Participants from 13 Eastern African countries converged at the Wangari Maathai Institute for a 3 day training of trainers on the future of resilient food systems in Africa to promote digital climate-informed solutions (DCAS) as a tool to help tackle the growing impacts of climate change across the continent. The training is collaboration between the institute, The Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) and the African Development Bank.

The workshop took place from January 31st -2nd Feb 2023.

The training aimed; to improve the confidence and capacity of trainees to design and implement DCAS projects to reach the last mile and farmers;

Improve understanding / knowledge of target stakeholders in East Africa through training and information sharing including lessons learned on the challenges, opportunities and new approaches to the design, mainstreaming and use of DCAS and data-enabled agriculture;

Enhance capacity of selected agricultural stakeholders in public institutions and farmers groups across East Africa to use digital agriculture advisory solutions, implement digital climate smart advisory solutions, and train their members/colleagues to use DCAS tools;

Improve status, visibility and leadership role for GCA-AAAP as a capability building leader, and as a prominent knowledge broker in the DCAS space in Africa.

Speaking during the opening ceremony the Professor Patrick Verkooijen, CEO of the Global Center on Adaptation and Distinguished Chair of the Wangari Maathai Institute called for urgent financial support to energize African farmers and put Africa on the path to food sovereignty that will provide food and prosperity.

He noted ‘Through the African Adaptation Acceleration Programme (AAAP), $350 million project had been undertaken to build resilience for food and nutrition security in the Horn of Africa towards mobilizing new digital climate technology for market information, insurance products and financial services that can and must be tailored to smallholder farmers’ needs,” 

Dr. Pascal Sanginga, spoke on behalf the African Development Bank’s East African Regional Director General, Nnenna Nwabufo. He mentioned how timely the training was. By assisting African nations in making a fundamental change in their development strategies by putting climate adaptation and resilience at the core of their policies, programs, and institutions, the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program is already making progress toward closing Africa's adaptation gap.

The vice Chancellor Prof. Kiama spoke fondly on the legacy of the late Nobel laureate He urged the instructors to make the modules easier to understand so that farmers in remote areas can quickly adapt and lose their mistrust of technology. Invoking the late Professor Wangari Maathai's legacy, he said: "We understand that gaps on climate adaptation exist in rural areas and that they can be smartly addressed with the use of digital smart agriculture and climate innovations to make enormous conservation impact in our region."

Digital climate-informed advisory services are tools and platforms that integrate climate information into agricultural decision-making. These services include printed bulletins with digital capabilities based on climate models, radio broadcasts, and web platforms, as well as extension services that make use of climate information platforms.

Particularly when combined with supplementary services like financing, input supply, market access, and insurance, DCAS presents significant prospects to increase the resilience of small-scale farmers in the face of deteriorating climate change impacts. Effectively constructed DCAS can give producers the tools they need to prepare for changing climatic conditions and adjust to climate shocks, from seasonal predictions to pest advisories.

All participants received certificates after the session was over.