SADC Adaptation to Climate change in Rural Areas in Southern Africa(ACCRA).Under the ACCRA project jointly implemented by CCARDESA and GIZ, RSDA in collaboration with Department of Agriculture Research (DARs) -Lesotho and Botswana undertook a sorghum a trials and a climate vulnerability analysis of the Sorghum value chain in the countries and identify best practice. Based on available information a study of the feasibility of scaling up Climate Smart Sorghum production in Lesotho and Botswana a concept paper on investment proposal was developed to scale up good practices.

The following results were achieved;

  • Climate change vulnerability assessment for Sorghum value chain

Undertake a climate change vulnerability assessment of the selected agriculture value chain and develop a climate risk profile for the value chain to identify the opportunities for climate adaptation and mitigation in Botswana and Lesotho

  •  Identification of CSA best practice for Sorghum production

Based on the vulnerability assessment, identify and propose proven CSA best practices which will be applied  to enhance the resilience of the selected value chain to climate change and help to minimize climate risks and stabilize production and yields/to climate proof the sorghum production.

  • Feasibility study for the climate resilient production of Sorghum

Undertake a feasibility study detailing the technical design and implementation of the proposed CSA technologies and best practice in the Sorghum value chain, documenting the benefits, including socio economic benefit, cost benefit analysis, financial costs, return on investment, environmental impacts, impact and benefits for and on women and youth

  • Investment proposal for the scale up of climate resilient Sorghum production in Lesotho and Botswana

Develop investment proposal for upscaling and disseminating the proposed CSA technologies and practices with national partners and/or government which includes measures to benefit women and youth

  • Preparation of relevant Reports and Documentation

Vulnerability Assessment, CSA best practice, Feasibility Study and Investment Proposal.

  • Delivery of above activities in a collaborative way to encourage the building of awareness and skills with government counterparts.

2. CCARDESA funded by GIZ-ACCRA supported the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security to develop an agriculture  extension strategy and train Extension officers on climate change.

RSDA collaborated with CCARDESA-GIZ to support the Lesotho’s Agriculture Extension System. The intervention aimed at contributing to strengthen the operations of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (MAFS) through the Department of Field Services (DFS) tasked to lead the agriculture extension services in the country.

Objective and outputs

The overall objective of this project is to support the Lesotho’s agricultural extension system to a holistic bottom up approach with better farmers’ participation as opposed to the top bottom one as well as increase the smallholder farmers’ adaptive capacity to the effects of climate change through adoption of climate-smart technologies. This will be achieved through the following outputs:

  1. The extension manual and strategy have been reviewed to enable the intended shift from the top bottom extension system to a more holistic approach. While incorporating climate change considerations (such as climate change impacts on agriculture and CSA best practices);
  2. Both the extension strategy and extension manual materials are validated for use by all extension agents in Lesotho;
  3. Capacities on climate change and gender are built and CSA best practices and tools/type of materials selected by stakeholders to be rolled out into the extension system;
  4. Strategy and extension materials including on CSA provided for use by extension workers both within the public and private sector (e.g. print outs or pdf for e-extension);
  5. The extension strategy and knowledge products and tools for use in extension services launched;
  6. The CSA mobile application has been tested for its applicability in the field and needs for additional functions identified;
  7. Lesotho extension staff trained on new extension methods and CC/CSA knowledge products and tools, including gender considerations;
  8. Success stories and events shared through national television and radio shows and with CCARDESA and implementing partners of ACCRA and disseminated in Lesotho (Video equipment for Agriculture Information Services purchased).

In the long run, it is expected that with the new extension approach and enhanced capacity of the different agriculture stakeholders through CSA knowledge, the agricultural productivity will be improved.

 Description of activities

  • Undertake an assessment and streamline the FAO developed extension documents[1], restructuring it into a workable extension strategy document. This will involve a consultancy to:
    • The harmonize, restructure and finalize of the extension documents into a workable strategy and ready for stakeholder discussion and validation;
    • Validation: A workshop on the draft extension material; and
    • Development of sharable extension material (electronic or availed through the CCARDESA website)
  • Capacity building on climate change, gender and adoption of the CSA KPs for use in Lesotho
    • A capacity building workshop will take place where KPs and the mobile application on CSA are shared;
    • KPs on CSA and mobile application validated during the workshop, pending approval by higher policy organs; and
    • Means of dissemination KPs for fieldwork are identified and implemented (hardcopies or softcopies for example).
  • Test the CCARDESA mobile app on CSA in its functionality to build CSA capacities, facilitate e-extension services and farmer on-demand services developed (has to be applicable across SADC).
    • Test the CCARDESA mobile app in the field among Field Staff, Extension Officers and farmers (men and women, youth, people living with disabilities);
    • Assess extension services and farmer needs in communication need; and
    • Translated into recommendations on a function within the existing mobile app on CSA.
  • Equipment purchase

Information dissemination and awareness equipment will be procured to be able to enhance the service provision on farmer demand, disseminate stories through national television and radio, provide access to KPs and the mobile app and to pass information to the farming communities during events and or to alert them on any upcoming extension activity. (A handing over protocol between RSDA and MAFS is required showing the complete list of items and costs).

  • Conducting training on new extension strategy and methods and selected CSA KPs and tools
    • Training: A training targeting field officers from both departments of field services, crops and livestock and, NGOs and private sector extension agents, on the extension strategy and methods, CC trends, gender and the use of selected KPs and tools;
  • Sharing success stories and lessons learned
    • Develop at least 3 success stories on the new extension strategy, how climate change & gender best practices were rolled-out and how farmer to field officer communication was enhanced; and
    • Attend and contribute lessons and best practices to regional ACCRA roundtable in the first quarter of 2020.

[1] an Assessment of Lesotho’s Agricultural Extension System, FAO,, December, 2016, the Training Manual for Trainers, FAO, January 8, 2018; Approaches and Methods for Effective Extension Service Delivery in Lesotho, training handbook, FAO, January 8, 2018