Creating benefits for Zambian farmers by coupling context-specific climate information with local knowledge

The climate crisis increasingly affects the resilience of Zambia’s agricultural sector, with droughts and high precipitation variability challenging livelihoods as well as the economic prospects of agricultural production. Understanding climate risks and impacts is therefore crucial for effective adaptation planning. New research conducted by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) in cooperation with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) provides a comprehensive climate risk analysis for the agricultural sector in Zambia.


As part of the broader study’s focus and in close collaboration with the PIK, the task for the HFFA Research team was to find out if a nation- wide implementation of the Participatory Integrated Climate Services for Agriculture (PICSA) would be a cost-effective investment for making farmers more resilient to climate change in Zambia. PICSA is a participatory approach for climate services and agricultural extension. It combines historical climate data and forecasts with farmers’ knowledge of what works in their own context. In addition, PICSA uses participatory planning methods for supporting informed decisions on agricultural practices for farmers on the ground. And indeed: Our cost-benefit-analysis (CBA) could show that introducing the PICSA approach in Zambia is a highly viable as well as sustainable undertaking from an economic point of view.


The final report “Climate risk analysis for adaptation planning in Zambia’s agricultural sector” and a related policy brief, along with any associated materials, can be accessed by the links above or by visiting the website of the AGRICA project. To better understand the broader project context, different AGRICA films give information about the relevance of Climate Risk Analyses and related climate adaptation planning in the African agricultural sector.