Agriculture and the Climate Challenge
Weather patterns that are more irregular, combined with more frequent extreme weather events, have a significant impact on agriculture and food security. The knock-on effect of reduced yields and lower incomes in vulnerable areas will raise food insecurity across the globe.
It is vital to increase the resilience of agricultural systems by anticipating and tackling these challenges. Success will help secure livelihoods, increase food security, and reduce the emissions intensity of agriculture.
To address the challenges of climate change, agricultural production systems need to be transformed to achieve greater productivity, be more resource efficient, and become more resilient to risks, shocks and long-term climate variability. According to the IPCC AR5 report, the Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU) sector contributes about 25% of human-generated GHG emissions, mainly from deforestation and agricultural emissions from livestock, soil and nutrient management. Moving to sustainable agricultural practices will play a key role in limiting global warming to no more than 2˚C.
What is Climate-Smart Agriculture?
Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA) is a relatively new approach to developing the technical, political and financial conditions for the achievement of sustainable development goals. It helps address food security and climate challenges through three pillars:
- Sustainably increasing agricultural productivity and incomes
- Adapting and building resilience to climate change
- Reducing and/or eliminating GHG emissions
CSA is a harmonized way of addressing the multiple challenges faced by agricultural systems. Often based on existing practices, policies and institutions, it focuses on achieving the desired outcomes without being prescriptive about practices or technologies. CSA involves making site-specific assessments to identify the best agricultural production technologies and practices for the situation.