Climate Smart Agriculture: Empirical Evidence

The FAO recently published: Climate Smart Agriculture: Empirical Evidence of Food Security and Mitigation Benefits from Improved Crop Land Management.

Climate Smart Agriculture: Empirical Evidence

I’ve been teaching a climate smart agriculture course. Depleted soils, unreliable access to water, outmoded agricultural practices and a lack of coping strategies for adapting to a changing climate are leading to reduced agricultural productivity, income generation, and food security for smallholder farmers worldwide.

Course participants have been researching potential solution oriented techniques that smallholder farmers can use to begin selling these challenges. The solutions range from conservation agriculture, to maintaining crop residues in the field, crop rotations and mixed cropping that incorporate legumes, improved crop varieties such as early maturing and drought resistant crops, building barriers in the fields to retard the movement of water, and agroforestry.

I was delighted to discover this new resource which has investigated each of the techniques that the students have been incorporating into their projects.

This document looks at 171 scientific studies that analyze the impact of utilizing the types of techniques that we’ve been studying in this course. The study looks at production increases at the farm level, profit increase at the farm level, food security potential, and mitigation potential.

The papers which they studied from all over the world show that these techniques that are studying can increase productivity from between 45% to over 200%, and can increase average farm income from 40% to 161%. They also show that some of the techniques are more appropriate for dry regions and other techniques are more appropriate for moist regions. These techniques can also increase food security by between 55% and 164%, and make a significant increase in the amount of carbon sequestered in soil.

Check out this valuable resource.

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Tim Magee, Executive Director
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The Center for Sustainable Development specializes in providing sound, evidence-based information, tools and training for humanitarian development professionals worldwide. CSDi is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

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