What is Climate-Smart Agriculture Anyway?

Worldwide, there are opportunities for agriculture to contribute to efforts to adapt to, and mitigate climate change, while also supporting food security and the fight against poverty. To realize the true potential of climate-smart agriculture, international climate change negotiations must take into these opportunities into account, and adopt policies that create incentives for farmers, help finance projects, and fund continued agricultural research. A new booklet from the Technical Center for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) and the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security gives concrete examples of successful climate smart agricultural practices and helps push the agenda forward.
Download it now!  Farming’s Climate Smart Future: Placing Agriculture at the Heart of Climate Change Policy

Climate Information: Malian Farmers’ Most Valuable Tool?

Weather information is a powerful for farmers facing an uncertain climate. PHOTO/P. Casier (CCAFS)

By Vanessa Meadu. This article was originally posted on Reuters AlertNet

Last year in villages across Mali, some farmers harvested bumper crops of millet, sorghum and maize, while their neighbours struggled to produce a high-enough yield to feed their families. Yet they all faced the same dry spells, high temperatures and unpredictable rains.

So what caused such dramatic difference between these two groups? The first group of farmers was not simply lucky. Rather they were reaping the benefits of having had access to weather information and weather-based farm management advisories, thanks to an innovative programme set up by the Mali government in an effort to stave off hunger. Continue reading

No Agriculture, No Deal

This article by Busani Bufana appeared on IPS Africa. Read it here or below. 

DURBAN, South Africa, Dec 1 (IPS) – Zambian dairy farmer, Effatah Jele, does not believe in farming luck but in pragmatism because of climate change.

“Farmers should be taught about good farming practises instead of blaming everything on climate change,” said Jele, who runs a dairy farm in the Luanshya Cooperbelt Province of Zambia and is the vice chairperson of the Dairy Association.

“Changes are there, no doubt, but it is also important for farmers to have the right farming practises for them to survive those changes. For example, some women are growing vegetables and, due to ignorance, dig the soil right up to edge of the river. Then, when it rains, the soil is all washed into the stream and after a few years the stream becomes shallow. And some say this is because of climate change.”

Continue reading

Tackling Hunger and Climate Change: From Farm to Fork

This blog post by Julian Aran appeared on the Greenpeace International blog on December 2, 2011. Read it here or below.

On the third annual Agriculture and Rural Development Day taking place in Durban, South Africa on December 3rd, governments will be grappling with an apparently unsolvable conundrum; how to feed a world that recently crossed the seven billion population mark, while reducing the contribution of agriculture to global climate change? Continue reading

Agriculture at the Heart of Climate Change – Book Launch

With ARDD 2011 as a backdrop, CTA announces the launch of a new booklet on climate- smart agriculture. Entitled ‘Farming’s climate-smart future’, this is the first in the new Policy Pointers series by CTA.

Agriculture is both a cause of climate change and a significant victim. Farmers in the developing world are already suffering from the impact of climate change. This booklet argues that they could – and should – be part of the solution.

The booklet describes a range of climate-smart practices which could increase food production, help farmers to become more resilient to climate change and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. How widespread these practices become will depend on the importance given to agriculture in international and national policymaking.

The booklet makes a strong argument for placing agriculture at the heart of climate-change negotiations. It also provides evidence which suggests that mechanisms to reduce emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD+) will only succeed if they take full account of agriculture and food security.

This publication is a joint initiative between CTA and CCAFS.

Download your copy via the link below.


Top Scientists from Emerging Economies Call for Agricultural Work Program

Agricultural research expenditures must be increased substantially to address the needs for agricultural adaptation and mitigation. Farmer in Himachal Pradesh, India. Photo: N. Palmer (CIAT).

by Vanessa Meadu. Reposted from the CGIAR Climate Blog.

Today, leading scientists from the BRICS+ countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – plus Indonesia and the United States) have joined to call for an agricultural work programme under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. The call is directed at negotiators who are currently gathered in Durban to decide on the future of a global climate treaty. The call comes out of a conference in Beijing last month on food security, which was coordinated by CCAFS partners at the International Food Policy Research Institute

The experts say agricultural research expenditures must be increased substantially to address the needs for agricultural adaptation and mitigation, and highlight twelve priority areas for research, including pests and diseases, storage losses, land use change, international trade, and human capital development. Continue reading

Combining Traditional Knowledge and Climate Science in Chad

This blog post by Giacomo Rambaldi, from CTA – the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation. This blog first appeared on the Reuters Alternet blog Climate Conversations. Reuters Alertnert is the Agriculture and Rural Development Day 2011 media partner.

Fulani-Mbororo pastoralists in Chad rest near their cattle. Photo: CTA

Bouba Mal Yaya is a herdsman from the Fulani-Mbororo peoples in Chad. Along with his fellow herders, he had been expecting good grazing for his cattle this year but this has not been the case.

He is confused and frustrated. He had always been able to rely on his people’s age-old knowledge of their ecosystem to sustainably manage grazing. This traditional knowledge has been used by his people to develop strategies to cope with seasonal weather patterns and manage their meagre resources.

The community has typically looked to the elders for predictions on rainfall distribution, drought and other seasonal patterns. Now, it would appear that the reliability of their prediction is undermined by increasingly unpredictable weather and climate conditions. Their livelihoods and future as a culture are under threat.

The cause? Climate change. Continue reading

L’approche ‘champs écoles’ permet aux petits producteurs du Mali de s’adapter aux changements climatiques

Cet article a été publié sur le site New Agriculturalist

Ces dernières années, le Mali a été confronté à plusieurs événements liés à la variabilité climatique. En 2009, 700.000 têtes de bétail ont été décimées par la sécheresse ; en 2011, une sérieuse baisse de précipitations a fait chuter les rendements des cultures dans certaines régions du pays, entraînant une réduction de 80% de la sécurité alimentaire de la population rurale. Les projections indiquent d’autre part que le Mali sera confronté à un avenir que l’on prévoit plus chaud, marqué de sécheresses et inondations, de recrudescences des criquets et d’absence subséquente d’aliments. Dès lors, chaque agriculteur se voit obligé de s’adapter aux changements, ce qui exige des compétences, des connaissances et des innovations scientifiques et techniques. Continue reading