|Climate Smart Agriculture Workshop in Lesotho
|25 June 2013
The National University of Lesotho in partnership with the Food Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) hosted a Climate Smart Agriculture Workshop in Maseru, Lesotho on 18 June 2013. The workshop was aimed at launching Evidence-Based Policies on Climate Smart Agriculture (EPCSA) and sharing outputs from the Strengthening Evidence- Based Climate Change Adaptation Policies (SECCAP) projects.
Workshop participants included leaders of local stakeholders representing farmers, research bodies, government, NGOs and the media. FANRPAN project leader Dr Sepo Hachigonta gave a brief overview of his organisation’s coordinating role in various related projects across the subcontinent. He explained the nature of climate change as well as climate vulnerability and the costs of climate change adaptation.
Students from the National University of Lesotho, Kanono Thabane and Relebohile Letele presented findings of their studies. Thabane’s study was on ‘The Impact of Climate Change on Households in Maphutseng, Lesotho’ using the FANRPAN Household Vulnerability tool. Kelebogile’s study was on ‘Cost and Benefits of Adapting to Climate Change in Lesotho.’
The workshop welcomed the studies and further discussed what the results meant for Lesotho and pulled out key messages which included:
- Disaggregation of data is vital to understanding vulnerabilities. It helps with targeting resources, building effective policies
- Investment in research and dissemination remains key in addressing the most vulnerable in Lesotho
- Farmers need more capacity building on CSA to reduce their vulnerability
- While research is essential to informing transformational policy, it must be grounded in community and household level reality and connected directly to the capacity of farmers to adapt (and likelihood that they would be willing to change practices)
- Effective extension services should include farmers and private sector
- Most Basotho are moving from the middle ‘stage’ of livelihoods to the poorer stage. This means they are getting more vulnerable. More resources need to be channelled into capacitating these people to adapt to climate change by using strategies such as conservation agriculture
- More studies need to be done to compare shifting from conventional agriculture to conservation agriculture to show policy makers and farmers the benefits of engaging in conservation agriculture.
The workshop also served to remind stakeholders of the FANRPAN Regional Dialogue that will be hosted in Lesotho during the first week of September this year. The main theme of this flagship event will be ‘Climate Smart Agriculture’.
The EPCSA project is a 2-year initiative that seeks to contribute to a substantial increase in food production and improved food security in Africa and to build resilient communities that can withstand the impacts of climate change. The overall programme has three main elements (CSA up-scaling, policy analysis and advocacy and knowledge management), which are implemented collaboratively by the 4 implementing partners. The EPCSA is being implemented by FANRPAN in collaboration with the Conservation Tillage Network (ACT); Eastern Africa Farmers’ Federation (EAFF) and Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions (SACAU), in Southern Africa (Mozambique, Lesotho, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Swaziland).
The SECCAP project which has been running for the past 2 years in Lesotho aims to enhance the capacity of policy analysts and scientists in the fields of agriculture, climate and socio-economics to collectively build a strong base of evidence on climate change adaptation to inform policies and investment decisions.