Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) is defined by the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) of the United States as an approach that helps to guide actions needed to transform and reorient agricultural systems to effectively support development and ensure food security in a changing climate.
The global food system has overcome great challenges before. But in the coming 50 years, we need to grow as much food as over the past 10,000 years combined. Eliminating hunger is possible, but successful transformation requires consensus, collaboration, innovation and capacity investments by all stakeholders – at an unprecedented scale. Food, resources, fresh water, energy and climate change are entangled issues which must be understood in the context of one another.
Climate Smart Agriculture – Challenges
The challenges the CSA is looking to resolve are:
- Slash-and-burn farming contributes to deforestation and major CO2 emissions.
- Freshwater withdrawal from agriculture will reach unsustainable levels if efficiency is not improved.
- Food security, climate change and resource scarcity are interlocked issues.
- Improving both profits and the environment can be done according to a four-year scientific project.
- With a sustainability conscious approach, European farmers have made major progress.
Climate Smart Agriculture – Objective and Strategy
CSA aims to tackle three main objectives:
- Sustainably, increasing agricultural productivity and incomes.
- Adapting and building resilience to climate change.
- Reducing and/or removing greenhouse gas emissions, where possible.
CSA provides the means to help stakeholders from local to national and international levels to identify agricultural strategies suitable to their local conditions.
Climate Smart Agriculture – Approach
CSA is a holistic approach which includes:
- An integrated approach that considers the social, economic and environmental context specific to the location.
- Close cooperation between agricultural and business sectors, policy makers, institutions and financial supporters.
- Taking into account all dimensions of food security (availability, access, utilization and stability).
Based on this approach, farms should:
- Reduce emissions from fertilizer manufacturing.
- Increase efficiency, helping farmers maximize yields for every kilo fertilizer applied through knowledge sharing, balanced and crop-specific nutrition and technology.
- Optimize productivity on existing farmland, reducing pressure for deforestation.
- Adapt to water scarcity through product and technology development.
Climate Smart Agriculture – Technology
The Internet of Things (IoT) is transforming the agriculture industry and enabling farmers to contend with the enormous challenges they face. The industry must overcome increasing water shortages, limited availability of lands, difficult to manage costs, while meeting the increasing consumption needs of a global population that is expected to grow by 70% by 2050.
New innovative IoT applications are addressing these issues and increasing the quality, quantity, sustainability and cost effectiveness of agricultural production. Today’s large and local farms can, for example, leverage IoT to remotely monitor sensors that can detect soil moisture, crop growth and livestock feed levels, remotely manage and control their smart connected harvesters and irrigation equipment, and utilize artificial intelligence based analytics to quickly analyze operational data combined with 3rd party information, such as weather services, to provide new insights and improve decision making.
Climate Smart Agriculture – Results
Showing results on the ground is essential if farmers, national policy makers, international organizations and donors are to be persuaded to make climate-smart agriculture a priority.
At times, the transition of the agricultural sectors (including crops, livestock, forestry. fisheries and aquaculture) towards more sustainable and climate-smart production systems starts at national level.
Foresters and fishers need to be provided with the knowledge and tools to adopt climate-smart production systems. To achieve this, countries need to:
- Assess current and future impacts of climate change.
- Identify adaptation strategies.
- Create an enabling environment for farmers.
Responding to the global challenges, climate smart agriculture must improve on all aspects: smarter resource use, sustainable land use, increasing yields, reducing carbon footprints, supporting smallholder farmers’ incomes and building resilience – working through partnerships.
LEAVE A COMMENT below
Your opinion and feedback are important to me