Stakeholders at a recent workshop on climate change discussed the need for greater crop livestock integration and fodder production to reduce negative impacts of climate change. For increasing resilience to climate risks there is also need for changes in the policy environment, which still tends to favour crop production with insufficient attention placed on crop-livestock integration and market orientation.

The workshop participants foresaw the need for more drastic changes in future to support farmers to transition from subsistence to market-oriented agriculture to combat climate change. Key drivers for change will be increasing human populations and rapid expansion of cities in Northern Malawi; emerging opportunities for new agricultural products, especially livestock as livestock populations are expected to multiply six-fold.

At the inauguration, Dr Aloysius, Director of Environmental Affairs in the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Mining, Malawi, emphasized that climate change demands a greater effort to address vulnerabilities of smallholder farmers through context-specific mitigation and adaptation strategies.

“The Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) multi-modeling approach is novel as it analyses impacts on the future of entire farming systems, including crops and livestock as well as possible socio-economic scenarios. The project will benefit planned government activities, especially the National Adaptation Plan (NAP) to climate change,” said Dr Aloysius.

Ms Jane Swira, Country Climate Change Programs Manager, UNDP, presented initiatives, interventions and institutional structures for addressing climate change in Malawi, including the development of the NAP and National Adaptation Plans of Action (NAPAs). Dr Timothy Gondwe from the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR) highlighted the potential and priorities for improving crop-livestock integration in mixed crop livestock systems in northern Malawi.

The workshop was held recently at Lilongwe, Malawi, by AgMIP and Crop-Livestock Intensification Project (CLIPs) under the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS). Dr Sabine Homann-Kee Tui, Scientist (Markets, Institutions and Policies), ICRISAT, and Mr Arthur Chibwana Gama (LUANAR) facilitated the workshop. The objectives of the workshop were to discuss vulnerability to climate change, future scenarios of economic development and possible options for climate change adaptation for smallholder farming systems in Northern Malawi.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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