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New CGIAR collaboration to build climate-smart food systems in Malawi
Wednesday, 2020/10/07 | 08:36:47

September 30, 2020


In Malawi—the warm heart of Africa—a constantly changing climate poses a threat to the food, nutrition and income security of small-scale farmers, taking away their smiles. Such farmers, who rely on agriculture entirely for their livelihoods constitute about 80% of the economically active population. Recurrent droughts and floods, declining soil fertility, desertification, and outbreak of pests and diseases are now more rampant.


Scientific models suggest these adverse climatic conditions will accelerate. Therefore, urgent intervention is needed.


On 22 July the Malawi government, CGIAR centers and the EU, launched the Development of Smart Innovation through Research Agriculture (DeSIRA) project to address climate related challenges affecting farmers. Funded by European Union, the project will develop and promote best farming practices, as well as improved seed and crop varieties among farmers based on evidence from on-station and on farm trials.


According to Jean-Pierre Busogoro, Program Manager, European Union delegation to Malawi, who oversees the initiative, DeSIRA will draw on an already existing strong collaboration between the national research system and CGIAR centers in Malawi. Key partners include eight CGIAR Centers, Malawi’s Department of Agricultural Research Services (DARS), CIRAD and the University of Liège.



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