Seed World

New Farming Initiative To Climate-Proof Sorghum

The Flemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO) and the Flanders Research Institute for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (ILVO), with the Mali Institut d’Economie Rurale (IER) and the Agene Nationale de la Meteorologie (Mali-METEO), are collaborating with the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) to launch the ‘StratAdapt-Mali’ project according to a release.

The ‘StratAdapt-Mali’ project’s goal is to safeguard sorghum yields. Sorghum is a key crop for Mali as the people rely on it for food and income. The project also aims to aid rural farming communities, as well as others, be more prepared for extreme weather events. It will provide training and new technology to make the data into actional information for local communities.

The project includes the CLIMTAG tool which is a web-based tool by VITO. The tool takes climate data and converts it into usable information that can be used for assessment and adaptation to the changing climate.

“More than 80% of the population in Mali is engaged in farming and its agricultural sector is particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, such as droughts, floods, and erratic rainfall, which pose a significant threat to food security,” said Dr. Jacqueline Hughes, director general of ICRISAT,

“By strengthening the ability of stakeholders to implement climate-smart adaptation strategies for food production, we can help safeguard vulnerable communities in particular women and children, and improve the resilience of the nation’s food systems,” added Hughes.

Hughes said this project would improve food security efforts in the West African nation.

The ‘StratAdapt-Mali’ project will start being implemented in 2023 over a two-year period with VITO as the lead and ICRISAT coordinating the partner activities between ILVO, IER, and MALI-METEO in Mali.