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Farmers Adopting Climate-Smart-Agriculture In A Bid To Cope With Climate Change

by Milicent Atieno

Farmers Adopting Climate-Smart-Agriculture In A Bid To Cope With Climate Change

Global warming has brought about drastic rise in temperatures and increased frequency of extreme weather patterns which have had a direct and negative impact on livestock, crops, fisheries, forestry and aquaculture productivity. As highlighted by a recent report tabled by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC); people at most risks are those living in the developing nations who mostly depend on farming as the main source of living.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations has  tabled a publication that highlights some of the innovative ways farmers around the world are adopting to combat challenges resulting from climate change. In what has been dubbed as “climate-smart agriculture”, the FAO publication highlights success stories of how farmers are still harvesting high yield despite the unfavourable climate change.

Farmers Adopting Climate-Smart-Agriculture In A Bid To Cope With Climate Change

The FAO’s publication show how rural communities have adopted “climate-smart agriculture” and are thriving by using new ways of farming that are better suited to the challenges posed by climate change.

FAO Deputy Director-General, Helena Semedo said, “A shift to climate-smart agriculture will not only help shield farmers from the adverse effects of climate change and offer a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but can also improve farm yields and households’ incomes, leading to stronger, more resilient communities. We can no longer afford to separate the future of food security from that of natural resources, the environment and climate change – they are inextricably intertwined, and our response must be as well.”

The climate-smart agriculture model that FAO is advocating for address the following objectives:

  1. Sustainably increase agricultural productivity and incomes.
  2. Help rural communities and farmers adapt to and become more resilient to the effects of climate change.
  3. To reduce or remove agriculture’s greenhouse gases emissions, when possible.

On just how farmers go about in achieving the above objectives, changes from one place to another depending on the unique challenges in that part of the world. FAO partners with national and local stakeholders around the globe in coming up with locally-tested solutions tailor-made to work in each specific region.

For instance, in Africa FAO has partnered with local farmers living on the highlands of Mount Kilimanjaro to reboot an 800 year-old agroforestry system called Kihamba. Kihamba optimizes use of limited land, produces a large variety of food crops throughout the year while keeping in check the groundwater health as well as addressing other environmental concerns. The design of this farming method sustains one of the highest population densities in rural areas in Africa and acts as a source of livelihood for over a million people.

FAO publication also documented the work the organization is doing with farmers in Kenya and Tanzania in the on-the-ground field schools that are working to develop and identify resilient, climate-smart farming systems tailor-made to the local conditions. In Zambia and Malawi, FAO is helping policymakers come up with national policies that promote climate-smart agriculture. In Nigeria, there are projects developed to introduce technologies for supplying fertilizers to farmers and in Uganda innovative land use management have been introduced in the Kagera River Basin.

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