This is the final post as part of our Climate Smart Agriculture Week (20 – 24 November 2017)
Understanding which agricultural practices work best, and where, to halt the impacts of climate change is one thing. But making sure those practices are adopted by communities – farmers, decision and policy makers – is another thing.
This is the second guest post as part of our Climate Smart Agriculture Week (20 – 24 November 2017)
Climate change poses major challenges to small-scale African farmers, whose own locally developed strategies to address these challenges provide entry points to sustainable processes of adapting to climate change. Partners in Prolinnova – a global network for promoting local innovation in ecological agriculture and natural resource management – have studied how crop farmers respond creatively to change.
Some case studies from West and Central Africa provide some insight:
This is the first guest post as part of our Climate Smart Agriculture Week (20 – 24 November 2017)
Despite us humans being the most intelligent among all living organisms it seems we have lowered ourselves to blaming the animals we farm for major environmental concerns, including; climate change, water depletion and pollution, land degradation and soil erosion, deforestation, threats to biodiversity and impacts of excessive material and energy use. Should they be held responsible?
BENGALURU: While India reaped the benefits of the Green Revolution in the 1960s, her neighbour China is now taking the lead in another area of sustainable agriculture — developing crops that meet the challenges posed by global warming.
Chinese agricultural scientists are working to convert seasonal crops into perennial crops that regrow after being harvested and deliver multiple yields before dying.
Plantwise, a global programme led by the Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International (CABI) which provides smallholder farmers across the world with the knowledge they need to lose less of what they grow to pests and diseases, has won this year’s St Andrews Prize for the Environment, worth $100,000 USD.
The Prize is a joint environmental initiative by the University of St Andrews and ConocoPhillips which recognises significant contributions to environmental conservation. Since its launch in 1998, the Prize has attracted 5,200 entries from around the world and donated $1.67 million to environmental initiatives on a wide range of diverse topics including biodiversity, sustainable development, urban re-generation, recycling, health, water and waste issues, renewable energy and community development.
Last year, one of the strongest El Niño events ever recorded caused significant changes to weather patterns around the world. Southern and Eastern Africa were hit particularly hard and suffered some of the worst drought conditions for decades, with as little as a quarter of the expected rainfall in the last few months of the year1. Drought is still having devastating impacts on crop yields in Africa, and humanitarian crises have been declared in the worst hit countries.
One billion farmers all over the world, responsible for growing the food that feeds the planet, are under unprecedented pressure from a changing climate. For eight months in a row now, temperatures have been the highest on record. Food shortages are affecting an estimated 100 million people in the wake of drought prompted by the strongest El Niño we have ever seen.
We urgently require ways of helping farmers preserve food security, and adapt to these harsher realities. We also need to ensure farmers can be part of the solution to climate change, given that food systems account for 19-29% of total greenhouse gas emissions.