CCAFS: Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security CCAFS: Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security

The CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) is a 10-year research initiative launched by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) and the Earth System Science Partnership (ESSP), led by the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT). CCAFS seeks to overcome the threats to agriculture and food security in a changing climate, exploring new ways of helping vulnerable rural communities adjust to global changes in climate.

This program aims to use crop models for assessing the impacts of changes in baseline climates on the production of the most important crops within the three CCAFS regions: East Africa (EA), West Africa (WA) and the Indo-Gangetic Plains. Proposed methods include use of an empirical niche-based approach named EcoCrop and the large area mechanistic model named GLAM. Making use of temporally disaggregated and spatially downscaled time series of climate for both a baseline period and a set of future scenarios (derived from GCM outputs), the impacts of future climatic conditions on crop yields will be assessed and adaptation measures will be proposed. The work is outlined to be completed within a 3-year time frame, with most of the calibration going on in the first year, and all the application being finished by the second year, with the third year being spent in adaptation strategies development. Specifically, the objectives are:

  • To calibrate two crop modeling approaches under current conditions for a set of important crops in the three CCAFS study regions (so that at least 50% of production is covered)
  • To assess the impact of future climates (i.e. 2030s) on these crops and propose adaptation strategies

Activities include harvest climate and agricultural data for model calibration; study and understand crop modeling approaches; identify target production systems; select crops to study; start calibrating crop models. Outputs are: climate database to be used in crop model calibration; agricultural data database in suitable format for analysis automation; one or two crop models calibrated; assessing impacts of progressive climate change on agricultural production.

The program also aims to develop a Trial Site Database for climate change analysis. For decades cultivar testing has proven to be an efficient and valuable methodology for varietal improvement and targeted dissemination. However, much of the information on trial sites is not publically available, and indeed large volumes of historic trials data are likely lost due to poor data management. The project develops an agricultural technology evaluation database for climate change analysis. The purpose of the database is to conduct subsequent analysis on the performance of agricultural technologies under a changing climate, to use this information to improve models of agricultural production under current and future conditions, and to evaluate the efficacy of promising climate-change tolerant germplasm for adaptation.