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Capacitate East Africa

Capacitate East Africa - Background

Image of crop
In East Africa, poverty and decreasing food security are major problems that will be further exacerbated by climate change. Current agricultural research in East Africa does not translate into improved yields for sustained food security, and agricultural production is falling. Farmers lack ability to adapt to climate change. One way to address the problems posed by climate change is to develop new crop varieties that are adapted to earlier or later sowing, or to drought or heat stress.

Current research does not focus on crop varieties adapted to farmer needs. East African plant breeders are unfamiliar with new techniques in plant breeding such as client-oriented breeding which have been shown elsewhere to be highly effective in accelerating variety development, and increasing the uptake of new varieties by poor farmers in marginal environments. It is important now to accelerate the adoption of this technology to quickly bring innovations to farmers and agri-businesses in the region.

This project will address the following problems:

  • Low yields, poor quality and decreasing productivity.
  • Lack of value-adding activities by breeders
  • Need to increase production by increased productivity - not by bringing additional land into cultivation.
  • Increased likelihood of water and heat stress.
  • Inability of farmers to adapt to climate change.
  • Risk-averse nature of smallholder farmers
  • Low uptake of modern varieties in Africa
  • Poor linkages between research, extension and farmers
  • Knowledge gaps in biotechnology
  • Little international publication
  • Duplication of research efforts between and within research institutions
  • Decreased food security, increased poverty and vulnerability to climate change