Western Cape's roadmap to a smart agricultural sector

11 April 2018

With increasingly frequent droughts and heat waves in South Africa, agriculture is a very vulnerable sector. Between 2003 and 2014, the costs associated with damages caused by extreme weather events in Western Cape amounted to R5 billion (over US$413 million), and since 2015 the drought has cost R14 billion (more than US$1.5 billion) in the agricultural sector alone.

The Smart Agriculture for Climate Resilience (SmartAgri) project was a collaboration between the Western Cape Department of Agriculture (DoA), the Western Cape Department of Environmental Affairs & Development Planning (DEA&DP), and the University of Cape Town’s African Climate and Development Initiative (ACDI). Its aim was to convene stakeholders from the agricultural sector including farmers, agricultural organizations and governmental agencies, and provide a roadmap for actions to improve the sector’s resilience to a changing climate. The highly collaborative process started in August 2014 and lasted 20 months.

Although the main output of the project – the SmartAgri Plan – has been finalized, the Government and other stakeholders involved are now working on making sure its recommendations are implemented. 

The case study is part of a series from our Policy Actions work, which aims to accelerate the pace of climate policy development and adoption at the state and regional level. This work is part of the Under2 Coalition, for which The Climate Group is Secretariat.

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