Waste-reducing rice thresherWest and Central Africa

The African thresher, known as ASI, can process 6 tonnes of rice per day. This same output would require 36 manual labourers using traditional methods, usually women. In addition, ASI cleanly separates 99% of the grains, resulting in a better quality product. Within 90 days of use, the economic benefits more than double the USD 5,000 cost of purchasing the technology. The ASI saves as much as one third of the rice harvest from being lost. In effect, this boosts the yield of usable rice by 50%. At the same time, net greenhouse gases are reduced when post-harvest losses are reduced. Reduced losses, like reduced consumption, ease the demands on the production system. This cuts net greenhouse gases by requiring less energy and fertilizer per kilogram of rice delivered to the consumer. Projects that target post-harvest losses like this are key to securing the food supply under a changing climate. ASI machines now thresh over half of Senegal’s rice and are spreading across West and Central Africa, with each country testing and adapting the thresher to suit the local context (Africa Rice Center 2005; 1 Mohapatra 2012 2).


  • 1

    Africa Rice Center. 2005. How partnership built ASI and ISA. Annual Report 2004–2005. Cotonou, Benin: AfricaRice.

    http://www.warda.cgiar.org/publications/AR2004-05/ASI.pdf This feature story from the 2004-5 Africa Rice Center Annual Report covers the emergence of the ASI (ADRAO-SAED-ISRA) rice thresher, which is able to significantly reduce postharvest losses, while reducing the burden of hard manual labor.
  • 2

    Mohapatra S. 2012. The little machine that could. Rice Today. Cotonou, Banin: AfricaRice.

    http://www.africarice.org/publications/ricetoday/The_little_machine_that_could.pdf This article explains the history of the Asian rice thresher, which provides farmers with an efficient alternative to manual threshing. The thresher is named the ASI, after the three main partners who contributed to its development: AfricaRice, the Senegal River Valley National Development Agency and the Senegalese Institute of Agricultural Research. The ASI has been one of the most important postharvest technologies in the Senegal River Valley, helping rice farmers to deal with labor scarcity.

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CCAFS Climate-Smart Agriculture 101

The basics

Climate-smart agriculture (CSA) is an integrative approach to address these interlinked challenges of food security and climate change, that explicitly aims for three objectives:

A. Sustainably increasing agricultural productivity, to support equitable increases in farm incomes, food security and development;

B. Adapting and building resilience of agricultural and food security systems to climate change at multiple levels; and

C. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture (including crops, livestock and fisheries).

Entry points

Agriculture affects and is affected by climate change in a wide range of ways and there are numerous entry points for initiating CSA programmes or enhancing existing activities. Productivity, mitigation and adaptation actions can take place at different technological, organizational, institutional and political levels. To help you navigate these myriad entry points we have grouped them under three Thematic Areas: (i) CSA practices, (ii) CSA systems approaches, and (iii) Enabling environments for CSA. Each entry point is then described and analysed in terms of productivity, adoption and mitigation potential and is illustrated with cases studies, references and internet links for further information.

Develop a CSA plan

Planning for, implementing and monitoring CSA projects and programmes evolves around issues of understanding the context including identification of major problems/barriers and opportunities related to the focus of the programme; developing and prioritizing solutions and designing plans; implementation; and monitoring and evaluation. Most major development agencies have their own framework for project and programme formulation and management but CCAFS has developed a specific approach for planning, implementing and assessing CSA projects and programme called CSA plan. CSA plan was developed to provide a guide for operationalizing CSA planning, implementation and monitoring at scale. CSA plan consist of four major components: (1) Situation analysis; (2) Targeting and prioritizing; (3) Program support; and (4) Monitoring. evaluation and learning.


To meet the objectives of CSA, such as agricultural development, food security and climate change adaptation and mitigation, a number of potential funding sources are available. For instance, climate finance sources may be used to leverage agriculture finance and mainstream climate change into agricultural investments. This section offers an overview of potential sources of funding for activities in climate-smart agriculture (CSA) at national, regional and international levels and for a number of different potential ‘clients’ including governments, civil society, development organizations and others. Additionally, it includes options to search among a range of funding opportunities according to CSA focus area, sector and financing instrument.

Resource library

CSA Guide provides a short and concise introduction and overview of the multifaceted aspects of climate-smart agriculture. At the same time it offers links to references and key resources that allows for further investigations and understanding of specific topics of interest. In the resource library we have gathered all the references, key resources, terms and questions in one place for a quick overview and easy access that can be used as a part of or independently of the other sections of the website. The resource library is divided into six sections; (1) References – list all publications, links and blogs referred to on the website; (2) Tools – list all the CSA tools presented on the website; (3) Key terms – explains the most important and frequently used terms related to CSA; (4) Frequently asked questions (FAQ) – provides a rapid overview of the most common questions asked on climate-smart agriculture; (5) About – where you can find out more about the purpose and structure of, as well as on the organizations and authors behind the website; (6) Contact.

Case studies

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