An IRI trip to Ethiopia

Using Columbia expertise to improve food security and combat hunger

One in nine people on the planet goes hungry for extended periods each year. And the problem is only worsening with climate change disrupting normal agricultural cycles.

ACToday (Adapting Agriculture to Climate Today, for Tomorrow) aims to combat hunger by increasing climate knowledge in six countries that are particularly dependent on agriculture and vulnerable to the effects of climate change and fluctuations: Bangladesh, Colombia, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Senegal and Vietnam.

The project focuses on building systems to ensure that meteorological agencies in those countries can produce the most accurate climate information, and that individuals and institutions in the agricultural sector have access to that knowledge — and can use it to grow more food to feed more people.

The ACToday team — made up of top Columbia researchers with expertise in climate science, nutrition and sustainable development — is working closely with institutions and individuals to develop a tailored strategy in each country. The team is focused in particular on ensuring that relevant climate information makes it into the hands of farmers who can use it to predict extreme weather that could damage agriculture, as well as favorable weather conditions that could lead to good harvests.

This Columbia World Projects program, which kicked off in November 2017, is led by staff at Columbia’s International Research Institute for Climate and Society, working in partnership with the World Food Program, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, the World Bank and others.