Climate Resilience


The principal challenge addressed by this Initiative is the poor climate adaptation preparedness of the food and agricultural systems in low- and middle-income countries. The adverse impacts of climate variability and extremes in the Global South are well documented. The loss of productive assets and human capital, coupled with the effect of uncertainty on agricultural investments, stymie smallholders’ efforts to improve livelihoods, exacerbating poverty and social tensions.  

This Initiative’s partner countries face serious climate vulnerabilities, including droughts, floods and high temperatures in Kenya, Senegal, and Zambia; droughts and high temperatures in Morocco and Guatemala; and floods and rising temperatures in the Philippines. 

Demand has shifted from understanding climate change impacts to designing innovations and directing financial flows to achieve ambitious climate and food systems targets. Isolated interventions to increase crop yields or strengthen markets no longer suffice; it is critical to transform systems to simultaneously enhance resilience, productivity and equity.


This Initiative will transform the climate adaptation capacity of food, land and water systems in six low- and middle-income countries, ultimately increasing the resilience of smallholder production systems to withstand severe climate change effects like drought, flooding and high temperatures. 


This objective will be achieved through:

    • Reducing risk for producers’ livelihoods and in value chains by employing agricultural risk management, climate-smart innovations and digital information services to reduce the impact of variable weather and extreme events on smallholder farmers. 
    • Understanding climate security risks and identifying paths to climate-resilient peace, including equitable access to natural resources. 
    • Ensuring policymakers have the necessary evidence to develop urgently needed, holistic and context-specific policies and adaptation strategies, as well as untangling complexities across natural and social sciences that hinder progress.  
    • Building capacity for policies that bring together local needs and available tools to enable governance for resilience, working across levels, scales and sectors, and drawing out “champions of change” who can advocate for local investment and empowerment and inclusion of all. 
    • Scaling climate finance with innovative mechanisms that increase farmers’ access to finance at the local level and help policymakers identify new opportunities at the national level. 
    • Ensuring social equity, because a climate-resilient, nutrition-secure future will require inclusion-sensitive policy, ensuring grassroots voices are heard and women, youth and marginalized groups included.   


      This Initiative will work in the following countries: Guatemala, Kenya, Morocco, the Philippines, Senegal and Zambia.


      Proposed 3-year outcomes include:

        1. At least US$30 million in new investments made through the Initiative’s partnerships, focusing on disadvantaged groups, women, youth and vulnerable smallholder farmers, contributing to building systemic resilience.
        2. International agencies and policymakers use products of the Initiative to shape at least nine policies or investments to strengthen agricultural resilience, including at least three aimed at reducing agriculture-related climate security risk.
        3. Bundled climate services developed by the Initiative will reach at least 300,000 vulnerable farmers, at least 30% of whom are women, in 6 focal countries.


            Projected impacts and benefits include:



            A thorough system transformation, comprising bundles of technical innovations supported by new policies and multilevel institutional arrangements, helps smallholders to adapt successfully to climate change impacts, benefiting 30 million people.


            Innovations reducing the impact of variable weather and extreme events improve food security for  3 million people. For instance, the use of bundled climate services improves agricultural production and resilience, laying the foundation for improved food security.


            Improved production-system resilience through recognizing the relationships among climate, agriculture, security and peace generates long-lasting co-benefits in terms of reducing poverty, improving livelihoods and creating jobs, benefiting 13 million people.


            At least US$30 million in new investments made by 2024 focusing on disadvantaged groups, women, youth and vulnerable smallholder farmers contributes to building their systemic resilience. This begins to close the gender gap for more than 5 million women working in food, land and water systems.


            An integrated social-ecological-technological bundle approach with supporting policies and institutions supports successful scaling of climate-resilient agricultural ecosystem services, bringing 21 million hectares of land under sustainable management.


            How CGIAR Will Help 30 Million Smallholder Farmers Adapt to Climate Change by 2030

            For more details, view the Initiative proposal


            Header photo: Rice production in Jawhar, Maharastra, India. Photo by N. Palmer/Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT, CCAFS.