GCRF-AFRICAP: Climate-Smart Agricultural Development

This project aims to make agriculture and food production in sub-Saharan Africa more productive, sustainable and resilient to climate change.

GCRF-AFRICAP is a major four-year multistakeholder project to make agriculture and food production in sub-Saharan Africa more productive, sustainable and resilient to climate change.

It aims to do so in a manner that supports countries to reduce poverty, hunger, and malnutrition whilst addressing the broader aims of the Sustainable Development Goals and key targets of the Malabo Declaration on Accelerated Agricultural Growth and Transformation for Shared Prosperity and Improved Livelihoods in Africa.

Working with local organizations and governments in Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia, AFRICAP is creating an evidence base to underpin new country-specific policies in agriculture and food production. These policies will be piloted and evaluated in large-scale test sites to enable fast implementation and to build national capacity for future evidence-based policy development. With the support of networks of local, national, regional and international organizations with a stake in sustainable agri-food systems, the lessons learned will be translate into other contexts across Africa.

Our work

GCRF-AFRICAP is co-developing and carrying out the research needed in each country, from soils, plant and livestock science to meteorology, ecology and political and social sciences. It considers current farming practices and alternative approaches, and analyses the results in terms of yields, incomes and nutrition, both in current conditions and taking into account the predicted effects of climate change and future. The aim is to translate research into evidence, evidence into policy and policy into practice, while building capacity in all these areas at local and national level.

Chatham House and the University of Leeds are leading the policy design and implementation work. Taking the evidence developed from AFRICAP research and modelling we are working with local organizations and governments to design new policies that will facilitate climate-smart and sustainable agricultural development.

We will be creating Special Agricultural Zones (SAZs) – large-scale areas in Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia – where policies can be piloted and refined, with the impacts assessed on controlled trial stations. This will enable faster evaluation, iteration, and identification of the best policies for broader implementation.

Funding and project partners

Funding is provided by the UK government’s Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF).  

The programme is an international collaboration involving UK and African research and policy organizations, working both top-down with national and regional governments and bottom-up, with grass-root agricultural organizations in each country.

Principal partners:

The project is led at Chatham House by Richard King, Research Fellow, Energy, Environment and Resources Department.

Further information