African Forum for Agricultural Advisory Services

The Agricultural Climate Resilience Enhancement Initiative (ACREI)

Agriculture has been recognized as an important sector for development in East African region. According to targets 2.3 and 2.4 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) there is need for doubling of agricultural productivity, incomes of small scale producers, ensuring sustainable food production systems and implementing resilient agricultural practices that increase productivity and production (Kilic et al., 2017). The small scale farmers dominate agricultural production in the region (Reidsma et al., 2010; Mubaya et al., 2012; Waithaka et al, 2013; MAFSC, 2015; MAAIF Uganda CSA program 2015-2025). However, because of their high reliance on nature and subsistence rain-fed agriculture for livelihoods, they are ofen vulnerable to
weather variability, climate hazards and climate change efects.

In East Africa, weather and climate have become more variable. For example, there has been an increased fluctuation in rainfall, with more extreme events induced by changes in temperature. For example, flooding has recently become common and, severe drought conditions leading to heat waves and water stresses have been reported in various parts of the region (Rahmstorf and Coumou, 2011). These adverse conditions have caused animal death, high levels of famine and reduced income levels for many people (Sivakumar, 2005). The arid and semi-arid lands in east Africa are the most afected areas with severe manifestations of weather and intra-seasonal variability (Egeru et al., 2014). In other parts of the region, climate change is fast being felt through increased variability, which is impacting on spatial distributions, and extreme weather events (Thornton et al., 2014).

The Agricultural Climate Resilience Enhancement Initiative (ACREI) is a 3-year partnership program between the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Center (ICPAC) funded by the Adaptation Fund. The program targets Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda supporting community adaption practice, climate proofing of extension systems and climate informed decision making. The ACREI project is the first approved regional project, funded under the Adaptation Funds Pilot Programme for Regional Projects and is an innovative initiative linking regional and national level climate services capacity to local level adaptation and resilience for smallholder farming communities.