Linking genetic vulnerability to loss of resilience to adapt to climate change

Written by Super User on . Posted in What We Do

Research has shown that having diverse crops and crop varieties potentially forms a natural insurance against climate change risk. It could also provide the basis for adaptive management under progressive climate change.  Designed diversification strategies can help farmers to add varieties and crops to their mixture to make their varietal portfolio less vulnerable to climate risk.

Objectives of the project
The project will assess levels of diversity of Sorghum, Cowpea and Pigeon pea crops, assess the current vulnerability of varieties and varietal portfolios, and identify varietal diversification needs and opportunities in benchmark sites in East Africa. This will produce insights on the potential of varietal diversification strategies in CCAFS benchmark sites, allowing for comparisons between sites (“what works where and why”) and with other intervention strategies.
Based on this information, varietal diversification strategies will be designed and tested in the field, introducing existing landrace and improved materials to farmers. Applying the approach in the CCAFS benchmark sites would make it possible to compare the impact determining which advantages and disadvantages it has relative to alternative technologies and interventions. The project hope to recommend crops and options for use in climate change adaptation, inform the scientific community and policy makers on climate change adaptation. The lessons learnt (models and best practices by farmers etc) could also be used or replicated elsewhere.

Project partners

  1. African Biodiversity Conservation and Innovations Centre
  2. Bioversity International
  3. Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI) and National Gene bank of Kenya
  4. Tropical Pesticides Research Institute (TPRI) and National Plant Genetic Resources Centre (Tanzania)
  5. Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania

Project duration: 1 year