Climate Smart Agriculture 

Our Approach

Access to improved seeds, new planting and harvesting technologies, and effective post-harvest handling techniques drive agricultural growth. We apply our business lens to the agricultural market system to facilitate smallholder and agribusiness access to these tools. Our climate-smart approach enables the agricultural sector to improve productivity and profitability while conserving natural resources and reducing its own environmental impact. Because land is often a farmer’s primary asset, we equip them with sustainable agricultural practices and tools that preserve their lands and bolster their resilience to climate shocks. We also help the private sector realize that being climate-smart is good business.

two people with quinoa 


Our climate-smart interventions work to ensure that women and men have equal access to inputs and new techniques. The climate-smart trainings we develop consider the typically gender-determined time constraints many women face and offer labor- and time-saving devices and work arounds. Also, as many women cultivate home gardens, our trainings in horticultural best practices intertwine climate-smart and nutritional components.

Ignitia weather forcasting app mobile 


Environmentally friendly best practices such as crop rotation, drought-resistant plant varieties, improved seeds, and appropriate fertilizer application form the bedrock of our climate-smart approach. Our climate-smart interventions include agricultural technologies such as irrigation, water usage, and improved storage that help farmers mitigate the impact of traditional approaches as they develop new ways of cultivating and harvesting their crops.

Young girl in Colombia 


Keeping youth engaged and active in the agricultural sector is a challenge throughout the developing world. We carve out bright futures and varied roles for young people in climate-kind agriculture, especially in the tertiary service sector as backpack sprayers or in trimming, grading, aggregation, and marketing.

Group of people gathered for a lecture 

Institutional Strengthening

As climate change’s varied and unpredictable challenges continue to mount, smallholder farmers will increasingly rely on healthy institutions to combat these effects. New weather patterns and more frequent extreme events will prompt the women and men of producer households to depend more and more on farmer groups, public- and private-sector service providers, and local and national governments. ACDI/VOCA works with its partners to improve the responsiveness of institutions to the growing need for environmentally sustainable agricultural growth. Such growth is necessary to create resilient, food-secure households and to promote inclusive economic growth.

ACDI/VOCA works with international companies, host-country governments, and bi- and multilateral institutions to build local institutions’ capacity to deliver quality products and services. The agricultural sector must be able to meet increasing market demand for quality agricultural products as the climate changes. Our institutional strengthening assistance is participatory, demand-driven, tailored to partner institutions’ needs, and delivered at a pace determined by these institutions.

We strengthen institutions involved in climate-smart agriculture (CSA) by:

  • Helping them form producer groups, farmer-based enterprises, cooperatives, and associations
  • Assisting public- and private-sector providers to adapt or develop products, services, and delivery mechanisms
  • Designing and delivering training-of-trainer programs, targeted technical assistance, and ongoing mentoring to improve the quality of service and product provision
  • Delivering tailored organizational capacity development support to improve enterprise and organization management and market competitiveness
  • Completing in-country agricultural sector development studies and research
  • Providing short- and long-term technical assistance and advisory services to government ministries and agencies, bi/multilateral institutions, international companies, and cooperatives in the design, development, and implementation of climate-smart agricultural development programs
Family nutrition 


Around the world, climate change is significantly affecting agriculture.  As agriculture and nutrition are intrinsically linked, we integrate nutrition into our climate-smart agriculture projects to ensure food security, create sustainable livelihoods, and empower people to build better lives. By implementing climate-smart agriculture strategies, we create resilience through preventing disease, improving crop diversity, and stabilizing households against the effects of extreme weather events.

nutrition pathways to agriculture

Ethiopia AMSAP Maize Demo 

Climate Change

The capacity to adapt to the effects of erratic rainfall patterns, hotter temperatures, and higher sea levels is fundamental to the empowerment and resilience of communities. We reduce climate-based risks as we address the fundamental causes of vulnerability. To do this, our programs facilitate community-driven assessments, and promote technologies and practices that help people better manage climate risk, and further enhance and diversify their livelihoods. We work with partners to improve understanding of how our climate is changing and support greater access to weather forecasting and early-warning information. To create transformative change, we build the adaptive capacity and climate-responsiveness of governments, markets, financial institutions, and agricultural systems.

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ACDI/VOCA signature tool MOSAIC


The members of the vulnerable and food-insecure communities with whom ACDI/VOCA works are among the least able to adapt and most likely to be seriously affected by climatic changes and their impacts. Overcoming climate threats and increasing resilience will require a transformation of smallholder agricultural systems and the markets with which they interact.

The Mosaic suite covers a range of situations in which emerging climate vulnerabilities have required rethinking how we support agricultural communities and markets.

Signature Tool Cultivate


Smallholder farmers have limited capital to invest in their farms. It is not always clear to which activities they should commit their efforts and resources. Cultivate assesses all practices and inputs throughout the production season to provide farmers with clear options and profitability estimates. Cultivate systematically identifies the inputs and production practices that will result in the highest return for farmers.

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