The Challenge

The potential effects of climate change threaten agricultural systems in Africa, including subsistence agriculture and valuable export crops such as cocoa. Investments in agricultural development are increasingly vulnerable to climate change and must take climate impacts into account to ensure long-term sustainability. Development banks now require science-based evidence to make climate-smart lending decisions.

CIAT’s Role

In 2014, CIAT’s successful collaboration with the Government of Nicaragua’s Adapting to Markets and Climate Change Project (NICADAPTA) resulted in the adoption of climate-resilient practices such as water efficiency and crop diversification in the cocoa and coffee sectors in Nicaragua. A variety of stakeholders used CIAT climate change models and maps to identify suitable regions for continued cocoa and coffee farming. As a result, in 2015 CIAT was asked to develop studies that could inform and help prioritise adaptation strategies for agriculture in Liberia, Uganda and Comoros, for eventual use by IFAD through their Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme.

What has changed?

NICADAPTA project (valued at US$24 million) used CIAT/CCAFS data on climate change impacts on coffee in Nicaragua and adaptation recommendations in their project design and implementation. The study also helped justify inclusion of climatic activities specific for coffee and cocoa value chains. The NICADAPTA next-user team was able to apply specific research results to two value chains by identifying hotspots.

According to Bertrand Reysset, a climate change specialist at IFAD, CIAT/CCAFS research was used by the Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Program (ASAP) program in Nicaragua as IFAD was interested in developing a cocoa and coffee value chain. Mr. Reysset confirmed that CIAT research had been very important for project design in the Latin America region, enabling IFAD “to see that there can be an impact of climate change on the value chain and what kind of technical option was feasible”.

Overall, CIAT research was used to help prioritize USD $75 million of public investment in agricultural development in three countries and to assist in long-range climate awareness planning by IFAD through their ASAP.


Andrew Jarvis

Andrew Jarvis

Decision and Policy Analysis Research Area Director