NDF - Financing for climate change and development projects

NCF: Mainstreaming Climate-Smart Agriculture in Solar Irrigation Schemes for Sustainable Local Business Development in Malawi [NDF C3 D12]

Field water pipes for irrigating crops. Photo: DanChurchAid
Harvested bean crop. Photo: DanChurchAid
Solar panels for solar irrigation. Photo: DanChurchAid
23.09.2013
The project will support 15,000 farming households in adapting to climate change and reduce emissions through new agriculture practices.

Malawi
Mainstreaming Climate-Smart Agriculture in Solar Irrigation Schemes for Sustainable Local Business Development in Malawi
Ref: NDF C3 D12

Nordic Partner: DanChurchAid (DCA)
Local Partner: Churches Action in Relief and Development (CARD, Christian Service Committee of the Churches in Malawi (CSC) and Kusamala Institute of Agriculture & Ecology (KUSAMALA))
Other Partners: n/a
Total Project Cost: EUR 600,000
NCF Financing: EUR 350,000
Agreement Signed: 1 July 2013
Project Classification: Adaptation/Mitigation
Duration: 20 Months

Project Objective

The core objective of the project is to empower vulnerable communities in Malawi adapt to the impacts of climate change through sustainable businesses in solar irrigation schemes, and mitigate climate change through climate-smart agriculture.

Description

The project will support 15,000 farming households in adapting to climate change and reduce emissions through new agriculture practices. Smart agriculture techniques, including organic fertilisers, agro-forestry, high-yield crop varieties and conservation farming are expected to lead to environmental and financial sustainability. The project will build on existing capital investments in the solar irrigation schemes, using already established community structures to mainstream climate-smart agriculture to empower and support poor rural communities. The project aims to reduce the vulnerability in the communities to the impacts of climate change while mitigating carbon emissions and providing linkages to carbon trade.

By 2015, the project is expected to deliver the following outcomes for the targeted households and communities:

i) Households will produce a diversity of high yield crops that meet the market requirements.
ii) Households have adopted climate smart agriculture techniques.
iii) Households have been provided with effective marketing strategies to access larger and more sustainable markets.
iv) Households have acquired improved business management skills for profitable agribusiness.
v) An inventory of greenhouse gas emission sources is developed in the targeted communities.
vi) A framework on reducing greenhouse gas emissions at community level has been piloted in three targeted districts.

Relevance for Climate Change

Climate-smart agriculture techniques help to reduce CO2 emissions through increased carbon sequestration and by ending burn over land clearance practices in the targeted communities. In addition, replacing inorganic fertilisers with organic substitutes can cut N2O emissions from agriculture. Over a period of 25 years, the project is estimated to directly reduce a total of 19,900 tonnes of CO2 equivalents. The project will also reduce vulnerability to the impacts of climate change for at least 75,000 people in the targeted districts. Finally, climate-smart agriculture techniques can reduce farmers’ dependence on rain-fed agriculture and reduce their vulnerability to food and nutritional insecurity through improved agricultural productivity.

Innovation and Knowledge Transfer

There have been only a limited number of initiatives in Malawi that would provide a combination of climate change adaptation and mitigation with emphasis on local business development. Climate-smart agriculture and the paradigm shift from the use of inorganic fertilisers to organic farming practices is a new initiative in Malawi’s agriculture sector. In addition, climate-smart agriculture attached to community-based carbon monitoring framework with linkages to carbon markets will be the first of its kind in the country. Participating farmers will act as a demonstration, allowing others to learn about the benefits of climate-smart agriculture, which could encourage further replication in the surrounding areas. The project can also provide a model for other districts, which could then be exploited by other NGOs and organisations in Malawi.

Key recent milestones achieved as of June 2016

  • Increased household income and food security for 15,000 households.
  • 50% of the farmers in the target area organised into farmer groups/co-operatives and 86% have adopted crop diversification.
  • 11 revolving funds established for seeds;
  • 274 live seed banks established for sweet potatoes, herbs and spices

More information

DCA
CARD
KIAE