Climate Smart Agriculture - Food Security and Nutrition Network

Climate Smart
East Africa Regional
Knowledge Sharing Meeting
Thomas Cole
June 11, 2012, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Climate Smart Agriculture
Climate change in Sub-Saharan Africa will have significant
impact on food security and agricultural production:
Changes in MEAN TEMPERATURES (higher)
Changes in MEAN RAINFALL (less)
Increased variability in temperature and rainfall
Greater crop water demand
Greater prevalence of extreme climate events (heat
waves, drought, floods)
• Changes in pest and disease patterns
• Decrease in agricultural productivity 15-35%
(McCarthy et al 2011, IIED 2011, FAO 2009)
Climate Smart Agriculture
Definition: Climate Change Adaptation
Climate change adaptation for agriculture involves building
resistance (the ability to resist the impact of a disturbance)
and resilience (the ability to recover from disturbance)
within agro-ecosystems, communities, and governance
operations to prepare for climatic change and its impacts
(Moreau et al 2012)
Climate Smart Agriculture
Definition: Climate Smart Agriculture
Agriculture-based practices that have the potential to:
• Sustainably achieve food security (increase food
production without further depleting water and soil
• Increase resilience of farmers and farming systems to
climatic change
• Improve capacity of systems to sequester carbon and
mitigate climate change (increasing carbon stocks in
terrestrial systems- farmland, grassland or forests)
Climate Smart Agriculture
In other words, agriculture has the potential for a “Triple Win”
• Sustainable increase in productivity
• Adaptation built on resilience
• Contribution to greenhouse gas mitigation
In order to minimize the risks of climate change and climate
variability, it is important to diversify farming systems
through the integration of cropping, livestock, forestry and
fisheries systems, the conservation of ecosystems, their
biodiversity, and resilience and ecosystem services.
Climate Smart Agriculture
Base strategy: Climate change adaptation mechanisms
(building resistance and resilience)
Drought cycle management
Enhanced weather advisories
Early warning systems
Strategic grain reserves
Seasonal forecasts
Increased and conserved natural capital (soil
organic matter, biodiversity, water)
• Reduction of yield variability
This presentation was made
possible by the generous support
of the American people through
the United States Agency for
International Development
(USAID). The contents are the
responsibility of Save the Children
and do not necessarily reflect the
views of USAID or the United
States Government.
Climate Smart Agriculture
Potential methods to increase on-farm carbon
• restoring organic soils and wet- lands
• converting cropland to grassland, woodland, or natural
• implementing agroforestry (e.g., alley cropping,
shelterbelts, silvopasture, riparian buffers, and
• switching from annual to perennial crops
• using organic amendments including biochar
• improving management of rangelands (uncultivated) and
pasture (cultivated)
• using winter cover crops and diversified crop rotations
• improving irrigation practices to support optimum plant
growth (Moreau et al 2011)