Enhancing the Resilience of Agro-ecological Systems (ERASP)
Country Contacts

Munday Makoko -


Being an integral part of the Resilient Food Systems programme, ERASP will contribute to the collective impact of this programme, which is intended to inform approaches to food security in the drylands of sub-saharan Africa towards win-win solutions between food production and maintaining ecosystem services in the face of anticipated climate shocks.



The overall project objective is to enhance the provision of ecosystem services and improve the productivity and resilience of agricultural systems of vulnerable rural people. This objective encompasses three sub-objectives of addressing land degradation, loss of agrobiodiversity and climate change adaptation and mitigation.

GEF Grant US $7.1M
Co-Financing US $87.3M


In addition to the challenges of land degradation and deforestation caused by population growth, as well as rural energy and agriculture sectors, Malawi is vulnerable to a number of climatic hazards, the critical ones being floods, droughts and dry spells, strong winds, hailstorms, pest infestations and disease epidemics. Together with IFAD under the IAP program, the Government of Malawi will implement the ‘Enhancing the Resilience of Agroecological Systems Project’ (ERASP), building primarily on the Programme for Rural Irrigation Development (PRIDE), which is the co-financing baseline investment. In addition, it will make programmatic links with another IFAD funded intervention – the Sustainable Agriculture Production Programme (SAPP) – which is supporting rainfed agriculture and research and extension services for the adaptation and adoption of Good Agricultural Practices, in particular conservation agriculture. ERASP applies an ecosystem-based approach to improving food security, which complements the infrastructure-based approach undertaken in PRIDE.


The project will be delivered through three components in line with the IAP programme framework: (i) multistakeholder institutional framework for integrated catchment area management; (ii) scaling-up catchment-level, sustainable land management practices; and (iii) monitoring and assessment of ecosystem services, resilience and food security. ERASP will promote interventions in the three districts covering an estimated 35,000 ha and involving 25,680 farmers. The proposed approach focuses on a more comprehensive landscape planning process for the sub-catchments, adds an agroecological approach to improving food security, and raises agricultural yields on rainfed farming systems through climate-smart and conservation agriculture techniques, supported by credit provision through village lending and savings clubs. Crosscutting aspects related to value chains, capacity building and knowledge management will be further strengthened through direct support from the regional “Hub” project.


Land under integrated and sustainable management (M ha.) 35,000
GHG emissions avoided or reduced (CO2e) 1,774,907
Genetic diversity of crops and animals maintained or increased (%) TBD
Land cover (increase, %) TBD


At a national level, the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, the Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services and the Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining, which houses the Environmental Affairs Department, and the Ministry of Finance have all been key stakeholders during the design phase. Government agencies include the Department of Land Resources and Conservation, Department of Forestry, Department of Fisheries, Department of Animal Health and Livestock, Department of Agricultural Extension Services, and Department of Disaster Risk Management. Other stakeholders include local universities, CSOs, and local level authorities in the target landscapes. The total number of beneficiaries to be engaged directly by the project will be 15,793 men and 16,381 women farmers, which is about a 49/51 percentage share of the project activities.


Sustainability of the project approach will be generated through a strong incentive framework. In addition, sustainability in the adoption of SLM practices will be promoted through supporting a motivated and knowledgeable extension service through recruitment of facilitators to fill the gaps, greater technical support from the extension network and investing in work ‘enablers’ at the extension level to secure greater involvement in results monitoring and reporting. In addition, advocacy and knowledge management (KM) are essential to scale-up the ecosystem-based approach in food security strategies. These KM reporting and dissemination strategies have been built into the project components.


Multi stakeholder institutional framework for integrated catchment area management.

Informed NRM and SLM decision-making based on improved evidence base. Effective NRM planning and coordination mechanism established through the operational catchment management committees involving upper, mid and downstream communities.

Scaling-up catchment level sustainable land management practices.

Increased sustainability of farming system productivity and improved resilience to droughts and floods. 16,600 farmers have sufficient water for crop and livestock production needs.

Monitoring and assessment of ecosystem services, resilience and food security.

Land degradation prevalence reduced from 46-60% to less than 40%.