FOCUS-Africa – The first field trip in Mozambique

Newsroom

Traveling is possible again, and the Case Study 3 (CS3) team met for the first time in person in Mozambique this October 2021. A twelve day visit to assess the socio-economic impact of climate services in the FOCUS-Africa project.

CS3 focuses on food security in Mozambique and is led by researchers from Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna (SSSA), Mozambique’s Institute of Agricultural Research (IIAM) and PLAN International (PLAN). The case study brings together climate science, genomics, and social sciences to develop climate services for smallholder farmers. CS3 relies on a bottom-up approach in which researchers together with farmers characterise crop varieties best adapted to current and future climate stresses and develop tailored climate forecasts and projections. At the end of the project, this information will be combined in an integrated climate service providing local farmers with i) climate-ready cowpea and rice varieties and ii) a weather forecasting service giving farmers key information on the outlook of the cropping season ahead.

The trip covered meetings with local experts and institutions specialised in agronomy, cowpea and rice breeding and climate meteorology. It also included a transdisciplinary seminar, a local district stakeholder meeting, focus group discussions with smallholder farmers, meetings with village chiefs and visits at IIAM’s research station, gene bank and biotechnology lab.

During this trip LGI participated to build a shared understanding of the socio-economic context, needs and practices of smallholder farmers, local expertise, capacity and systems in place to foster the legacy of the project outcomes. This was done in the context of LGI’s leading role in the socio-economic impact assessment of the climate services developed within FOCUS-Africa. They have developed a framework to help assess the short and long term socio-economic impact of the climate services and in doing so help improve their design and maximise their impact.

Building a toolkit for climate ready agriculture that offers lasting  benefits to smallholder farmers starts with learning about their needs and practices. That’s why the CS3 team visited the villages of Namachepa and Rieque, in the Mogovolas district in northern Mozambique, to learn from local knowledge and design tailored climate services.

“Here we are, under a huge cashew tree discussing needs for Climate Services and improved crop varieties with women farmers of Namachepa. Together, we will do our best to support climate-ready agriculture in Mozambique.” Matteo Dell’Acqua, who leads the CS3 team and is a researcher at the genetics group at the School of Sant’Anna in Pisa.

We’ve learned a lot from this trip and will summarise our findings as part of FOCUS Africa’s upcoming deliverable on the evaluation of the socio-economic situation in the eight case studies.

Article from https://lgi-consulting.com/focus-africa-project-update-the-first-field-trip-in-mozambique, written by:

Yasmina Dkhissi,
Innovation Strategist

Sam Whittlesey,
Innovation Analyst