AGRF Declaration – Increasing Adaptation & Resilience of African Food Systems

AGRF 2020

Climate change is the defining issue of our time, threatening to wipe out the hard-worn development gains across the continent. With the population projected to double to 2.4 Billion by 2050, Africa needs to feed a rapidly growing population in the face of climate variability and extreme weather events.

Adaptation and resilience are key accelerators and enablers to achieving development results and are a core part of the foundations on which development gains stand. The current commitment and actions in support of adaptation and resilience are insufficient.  An urgent, massive and coordinated push is urgently needed – across the continent – to increase the resilience of livelihoods among smallholder farmers and rural communities.

We, the participants of the African Green Revolution Forum – 2019 in Accra, Ghana, including African Heads of State, ministers, and representatives of farmer organizations, private agribusinesses, financial institutions, academics, development partners, NGOs, and civil society;

  • Recognising the impact of climate change on the continent and its devastating effects, especially on the poorest and most vulnerable;
  • Focused on the need to build the resilience of farmers and rural communities, and support the adaptation of Africa’s food systems;
  • Acknowledging the link between climate-related vulnerability and poverty and the risk posed by climate change to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs);
  • Drawing on previous agreements, discussions and processes including the work of the Committee of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSCC) under the African Union, the AAA initiative, the Global Commission on Adaptation, coalitions such as the recently formed Just Rural Transition (JRT) and the recommendations from the Africa Climate Week 2019;
  • Conscious of the need to take a broad, integrated approach towards food systems and land use, including though alignment and development of policy frameworks and

We commit to the rapid acceleration of efforts to support adaptation and resilience building in African agriculture systems, which suffer the effects of climate change disproportionately. We call for increased funding to support adaptation and resilience building in Africa’s food systems as a key part and enabler of Africa’s development agenda.

We urge all our multilateral, bilateral and private partners to support our efforts by ensuring their investments and loans in agriculture are designed with deliberate consideration of adaptation and resilience needs.

Our joint ambition is to accelerate the progress towards adaptation and resilience of Africa’s food systems and support agriculture’s contribution to economic growth in line with the Africa Union Agenda 2063, the 2014 Malabo Declaration and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Our commitments to climate adaptation and resilience building is captured under five action points which align with the recommendations by the Global Commission on Adaptation to; improve smallholder production, help them manage risks brought on by climate variability, provide assistance to the most vulnerable and achieve policy coherence. We will:

  1. Embed resilience and adaptation in our national agricultural and investment plans. We will collaborate across sectors to ensure an integrated approach to investments, including through alignment with National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPAs). Adaptation and resilience will be at the heart of everything we do going forward. For the most vulnerable, we shall make provision for social safety nets to cushion them against extreme weather events. We will also develop comprehensive risk management plans coupled with appropriate financial tools with which to manage risk, including setting aside budgetary and other types of contingency resources.
  2. Scale up adoption of proven technologies. Many of the tools to support adaptation and resilience are available for the task ahead. We commit to accelerating adoption and achieve impact through scaling technologies and information platforms that have significant grassroot impact.
  3. Target smallholder farmers as the key agents of change, with a special focus on Gender and Youth. Smallholder farmers form a significant part of the population and present an opportunity to drive scale. We shall therefore make concerted efforts to partner with them for resilience and adaptation interventions in order to drive food security and improved household incomes. This includes supporting value chain development and access to markets in order to support income diversification. We will also put measures in place to support uptake of weather-based insurance to safeguard farm-level investments. Gender and youth issues will be brought to the fore to ensure increased adoption rates and sustainability.
  4. Support market driven Research for Development (R4D). We will create a conducive enabling environment that will stimulate the involvement and increased investment of the private sector in the generation of evidence and knowledge needed in adaptation and resilience building in food systems. Many countries in Africa already have the infrastructure base for this, it is now time to increase investments that will lead to the much-needed link between research knowledge and the market.
  5. Strengthen climate data analysis and reinforce Early Warning Early Action (EWEA) systems to protect livelihoods. Early warning mechanisms provide crucial information for decision making at farmer-level. We also support climate-informed agricultural advisories, leveraging digital platforms where appropriate, to inform farmer choices. We commit to investing in mapping risks to better prepare for emergencies and put measures in place to safeguard livelihoods and recover from extreme weather events.