Full-value chain Optimised Climate User-centric Services for Southern Africa
Focus Africa is an European Horizon-2020 funded multidisciplinary project that aims at development of sustainable tailored climate services in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region for different sectors and case studies. Our research group engages in a food security case study in Nampula province, Mozambique, a region which is classified by FAO one of the riskiest food security areas in the country and the world. Smallholder farmers in Mozambique have been hit by more frequent extreme events including cyclones, droughts, and floods. Innovative approaches that increase resilience towards climatic changes are needed to accelerate better farming practices and improve food security.
Here, we are utilizing a bottom-up approach to co-create improved climate-adapted crop varieties and seasonal prediction models tailored to smallholder farmers’ needs. We employ a participatory approach that uses comprehensive surveys and focus group discussions to identify cropping constraints and the most valuable climate traits for local agriculture. We particularly focus on the commonly grown crops cowpea and rice. Genotyping and landscape genomics will be employed to evaluate climate adaptation for promising rice and cowpea landrace genetic resources, and this information will be used in combination with climate information and survey data to improve the recommendation of climate-ready varieties with local adaptation.