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Wednesday, 18 January 2012

A "climate-smart" approach to agriculture

FAO and the European Commission recently announced a new €5.3 million project aimed at helping Malawi, Vietnam and Zambia transition to a "climate-smart" approach to agriculture. The EU is providing €3.3 million to support the effort; FAO's contribution is €2 million.
Agriculture — and the communities who depend on it for their livelihoods and food security — are highly vulnerable to climate change impacts. At the same time agriculture, as a significant producer of greenhouse gases, contributes to global warming.
"Climate-smart agriculture" is an approach that seeks to position the agricultural sector as a solution to these major challenges. It involves making changes in farming systems that achieve multiple goals: improving their contribution to the fight against hunger and poverty; rendering them more resilient to climate change; reducing emissions; and increasing agriculture's potential to capture and sequester atmospheric carbon.
"We need to start putting climate-smart agriculture into practice, working closely with farmers and their communities," said FAO Assistant Director-General for the Economic and Social Development Department, Hafez Ghanem. "But there are no one-size-fits-all solutions — better climate-smart farming practices need to respond to different local conditions, to geography, weather and the natural resource base," he added.
"This project will look closely at three countries and identify challenges and opportunities for climate-smart agriculture and produce strategic plans tailored to each country's own reality," Ghanem said. "While not all solutions identified will be universally applicable, we can learn a lot about how countries could take similar steps and begin shifting to this approach to agriculture."

Source: FAO