Call for case studies of practices, strategies and protocols that effectively use agro-biodiversity for climate change adaptation

In recent years, Bioversity International and partners have researched the effectiveness of agrobiodiversity as an adaptive practice to deal with climate change. Increased adaptive capacity can contribute to positive livelihood outcomes, such as food security and good health. Mobilizing agrobiodiversity for climate change adaptation has been based on the following theory of action.

Having better access to crop/tree and varietal diversity provides farmers an opportunity to diversify the production, management, harvesting and marketing of crops/trees in space and over time more effectively. Making use of more and better quality agrobiodiversity can benefit natural resource management, household consumption, nutrition and health. It could also lead to new (farm) business and marketing opportunities.

Overall, it could lead to an increased capacity to foresee and deal with shocks, e.g. through a distribution of farming uncertainties and risks in space and time. In addition, better use of agrobiodiversity could contribute to improved resource management, e.g. the use of leguminous crops as organic fertilizer in fields with mixed, rotation and strip cropping (this is a form of sustainable intensification and could serve as a mitigation measure).

Improved agro-ecological resource management can contribute to making the farm more productive and/or efficient. Strengthened adaptive capacity of the farm (unit/household) can result in greater food availability throughout the year and availability of more and more diverse nutritious and healthy crops.

It can also offer opportunities for income generation through development of product value chains and the sale of (surplus) production, including seeds. Supportive policies can further make agrobiodiversity work for adapation.

Call for case studies

As part of the Integrated Seed Sector Development in Africa (ISSD Africa) program’s activities for 2020, the Agrobiodiversity, seeds and climate change action learning group (Theme 3) is interested to learn about inspiring examples of mobilizing agrobiodiversity for climate change adaptation along the lines of the above theory of action. We intend to collect, compare and publish case studies from across Africa.

See below the case study outline. If you are interested to contribute, please send, as a first step, an expression of interest, outlining your case study (150 words summary), to Ronnie Vernooy at the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT, r.vernooy [at]

Case study outline: maximum 3,000 words excluding references


  • Problem/opportunity addressed
  • Research questions to be answered
  • Theory of action/change
  • Location(s) and actors involved


  • Methods and tools used
  • Use of social and gender analysis (gender focused cases are welcomed)
  • Activities carried out


  • Compared to the theory of action/change
  • Major outcomes, constraints and challenges

Conclusions and lessons learned