Adapting to climate change and increasing the resilience of the population in south-west Côte d'Ivoire
Title: Adapting to climate change and increasing the resilience of the population in south-west Côte d'Ivoire
Commissioned by: Federal German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Côte d'Ivoire
Lead executing agency: Côte d'Ivoire Ministry of Agriculture
Overall term: 2012 to 2016
The south-west of Côte d'Ivoire, which is also home to the last intact natural forest in West Africa (the Taï National Park World Heritage Site), has been hit particularly hard by the effects of the Ivorian civil war over the last ten years. The rural population lacks the production resources, knowledge and investment capacity needed to stabilise the economic basis of family farms in the medium to long term.
At the same time, the effects of climate change are becoming increasingly apparent in this region. While rainfall is becoming more frequent in the dry season, there are also longer dry periods in the rainy season. At the same time, uncharacteristically heavy downpours are causing flooding and soil erosion. This is causing increasing disruption to agricultural production cycles. The population is either unaware of adaptation strategies or is unable to implement them for economic reasons.
Poor households and those affected by the civil war in particular are empowered to increase their resilience to climate-related risks and stabilise their livelihoods by sustainably adapting to climate change.
To safeguard the food supply, the project is primarily supporting cultivation of rice and cassava, and poultry-keeping. It is delivering training and strengthening a local network of advisors to ensure that innovative production methods and knowledge about business practice and climate change are sustainably embedded in the public’s mind. At the same time, it is supporting family farms in investing in rice and cassava cultivation and processing, and traditional poultry-keeping. It is strengthening the population‘s resilience to food crises by supporting it in setting up value chains. It also looks at ways to boost agricultural production, taking into account the factors of production, and the processing and marketing of products.
The project supports the adaptation of agricultural production systems to climate change and in doing so helps to boost productivity. By using inexpensive irrigation systems, which the project funds, between 1,000 and 1,500 hectares of land in low-lying valleys in the project region can – despite climate fluctuations - be used for intensive rice cultivation. The project also supports the cultivation of innovative and adapted varieties of rice and cassava, and offers training in sustainable cultivation methods and organisational consultancy.
Small farms are supported in intensifying traditional poultry-keeping. This gives vulnerable families a secure source of animal protein. Surplus produce can be sold at local and regional markets, providing additional household income.
Access to clean drinking water for the population in the project region is improved. The project replaces or repairs broken pumps at existing deep wells and provides support in organising water user committees in the villages where they are located.
In its implementation of measures aimed at adaptation of agriculture to climate change, the project concentrates on decentralised structures. It introduces local service providers and decision-makers to the subject of climate change and advises them on preparing and implementing their development plans.
To date, the project’s activities have produced the following outcomes:
- 20 business training advisors and 100 providers offering technical advice and organisational development services were trained.
- 1,500 producers received business training.
- The organisation of the key stakeholders involved in the rice, cassava and poultry value chains in the region was supported and monitored.
- 60 hectares of irrigation area have been created (2013) and 140 hectares are currently being developed (2014).
- 13 women’s groups, comprising 412 women, have been supported in producing rain-fed rice. The support took the form of seeds, fertilizer, technical training and organisational development.
- Pilot fields to breed improved varieties of cassava were set up in 25 villages.
- The project works with seven local radio stations, which regularly report on topics connected with the project and broadcast training programmes on climate change and agriculture.
- The project works with a theatre group to raise awareness of the consequences of climate change.
- 14 small-scale rice cultivation and animal husbandry projects (poultry and pigs) have been funded.
- Two buildings belonging to the decentralised agricultural services were refurbished.