The Nature Conservancy and the CGIAR EiA to establish a Foodscape Innovation Hub in Kenya
Food security and environmental conservation are two of the most pressing challenges facing Africa today. How can we produce enough food to feed a growing population without degrading the natural resources that sustain us? How can we adapt to the impacts of climate change and mitigate its causes? How can we empower the youth and women who are the backbone of the agricultural sector? These are some of the questions that a new partnership between The Nature Conservancy and the CGIAR Excellence in Agronomy (EiA) Initiative seeks to answer. The partnership will establish a Foodscape Innovation Hub in Kenya’s Central Highlands, a region that is home to rich biodiversity, water catchments, and diverse farming systems.
The Foodscape hub will serve as a platform for promoting agricultural development that is regenerative, resilient, and inclusive. It will bring together various stakeholders, including communities, governments, not-for-profit organizations, civil society, and the private sector, to co-create and implement solutions that safeguard the environment and communities’ livelihoods.
The Foodscape hub will leverage data and scientific knowledge to design, test, and monitor regenerative approaches for efficient use of land, water, and soil for mixed farming and climate adaptation in semi-arid areas. It will also develop systems for mapping scenarios and monitoring to assess the availability of quality water for sustainable use in neighbouring ecological zones.
The Foodscape hub will also foster innovation, new product development, business initiatives, and partnership governance. It will catalyse investments and facilitate public-private partnership opportunities, finance and investments, governance, and institutional capacity.
The partnership builds on the complementary strengths of The Nature Conservancy and EiA. The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization that works to protect the lands and waters on which all life depends. EiA is a CGIAR initiative that provides scalable science-based agronomic solutions that can help achieve sustainable intensification, promote climate change adaptation, and mitigate the unintentional repercussions of unsustainable farming practices on the environment.
The Regional Managing Director of The Nature Conservancy’s Africa Program, Ademola Ajagbe said, “This collaboration is timely and will contribute significantly towards addressing the complex interplay between food security, climate change, and environmental conservation. This partnership also aims to harness the best available science while contributing to the betterment of society”.
Mandlenkosi Nkomo, Chief Growth Officer, CGIAR Excellence in Agronomy Initiative said, “Our partnership highlights the importance of collaboration to address the world’s most pressing challenges, including Africa’s food systems and natural resources. Together, we will implement agronomic solutions to create a sustainable food ecosystem in Kenya’s Central Highlands, a vital region for environmental protection and Kenya’s agriculture.”
The pact aligns with calls for the strengthening of food systems by focusing on sovereignty, youth, and women’s pivotal roles in shaping the future of agriculture.