ETHIOPIA – The Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) has partnered with the African Development Bank to provide technical assistance for the implementation of a US$94.3 million project aimed at addressing the vulnerability of Ethiopia’s wheat production to climate change.
Dubbed Ethiopia Climate Resilient Wheat Value Chain Development Project (CREW), the project seeks to increase wheat production and strengthen food security in Ethiopia.
According to GCA, the CREW project will support Ethiopia’s wheat production strategy by financing various interventions across the wheat value chain.
Also, GCA’s contribution to the CREW project is envisioned to focus on introducing climate adaptation measures to identify, design, and integrate digital adaptation solutions throughout the wheat value chain through a raft of measures.
In a 2°C global warming scenario, it is anticipated that wheat yields in lower latitude regions, including African countries like Ethiopia, could decrease by over 15%.
In response to this challenge, the Government of Ethiopia has included increasing wheat production as a crucial component of its Ten-Year Development Plan (2021-2030), which aims to accelerate economic progress and ensure national food security.
Therefore, the CREW project is timely, as it will entail assessing local climatic conditions and food security, and the generation of micro-region climate risk maps and information to highlight local enabling conditions for particular interventions to accelerate adaptation in agriculture.
In addition, the partnership will boost the development of a stakeholder workshop to obtain consensus on the identification of priority digital extension mechanisms and facilitate the integration of DCAS and adaptation solutions in the wheat farmer registration system, and support.
“These measures are intended to enhance the resilience of Ethiopia’s wheat production system, making it better equipped to withstand climate variability and change,” the GCA said.
The project comes at a time when USDA in its recent forecast projected Ethiopia’swheat production at 7 million tonnes for the 2022/2023 season, an increase of 27% compared to the stock of 5.7 million tonnes produced during the previous campaign.
According to USDA, the improvement in production is attributable to a good distribution of rain in the main cropping areas located in the Ethiopian highlands.
Therefore, GCA hopes that these measures will enhance the resilience of Ethiopia’s wheat production system, making it better equipped to withstand climate variability and change.
Furthermore, the project aims to improve the production and productivity of wheat in Ethiopia to promote national wheat self-sufficiency, regional trade, and exports.