Of all the sectors contributing to anthropological greenhouse gas emissions, the livestock sector has been the most consistently difficult to pin down. How does one actually measure emissions from a living, changing animal? Do you count the CO2 they exhale with every breath? What about all the rainforest that’s been chopped down to accommodate pasture land, do you count that, too? With the wide range of estimates for livestock’s contribution to GHGs and the ongoing argument as to which production systems are the most sustainable, it’s no wonder livestock often gets left out of the mitigation discussion altogether. Read more »
By Abdoulaye Saley Moussa and Robert Zougmoré
As drought continues to ravage West Africa, threatening millions of lives, it is becoming clear that food security in the region, which already relies on unsustainable agricultural practices, will be further threatened by the effects of climate change. Urgent actions are needed to prevent the situation from turning into a humanitarian disaster in this semi-arid region. Ensuring food security in a changing climate has never been more important; at the same time it represents one of the greatest challenges to overcome.
Although agriculture constitutes the major source of food, it is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. Climate-smart agriculture, defined as “agriculture that sustainably increases productivity, resilience (adaptation), reduces/removes GHGs (mitigation), while enhancing the achievement of national food security and development goals“ is needed to overcome this threat and ensure sustainable food security while conserving the environment.
Joining forces to address the food insecure situation in West Africa Read more »
Julian Ramirez-Villegas, Research Assistant at the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) shares his frustrations in a newly published blog post, about the difficulty of obtaining appropriate weather data needed for research progress. To help himself, and other scientists, he wrote a short review of available data, and shared for researchers who, like him, cannot always the weather data they need.
The story was originally published on the Global Agricultural Trial Repository (AgTrials) website. AgTrials is an information portal developed by CCAFS which provides access to a database of the performance of agricultural technologies at sites across the developing world.
As Asian countries move to confront the escalating threat that rapid climate change poses food security, water supplies, flood management and farm yields, leading climate specialists, agricultural scientists, development organizations, governments and global experts representing 14 Asian countries gathered in Bangkok on 11-12 April for the conference Climate Smart Agriculture in Asia: Research and Development Priorities. The objective was to review the most up-to-date research on the impacts of climate change and outline priority actions for enhancing the resilience and lowering the emissions footprint of Asian agriculture.
As a co-organiser of the event, the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) helped share research innovations from across the CGIAR for enhancing the climate resilience of Asian agriculture.
At the close of the meeting, participants noted the need for increased multi-discplinary, and multi-sectoral collaboration to ensure the region is able to adapt to climate change, while reducing emissions from the agricultural sector.
Here's a rundown stories we produced, or were written about CGIAR research, at the event. Read more »
Raj Krishna Mushyan and Padam Bahadur Shrestha, both farmers from Nepal talk about the climate smart agriculture learning platform, recently launched in the South Asia benchmark site and about the changing climate in their areas affecting their lives and farms.
Raj Krishna Mushyan:
My village Madhyapur Thimi is known as the green vegetable garden of Kathmandu valley, where majority of Newars (ethnic group) are still engaged in agriculture, mostly in vegetable production. We grow a variety of vegetables and supply them to the Kathmandu valley. I can recall changing pattern of farming within our community over the years. Read more »
by A.K. Singh
The impacts of climate change on agriculture are being witnessed all over the world, but countries like India, with >80% of small and marginal farmers with poor coping mechanisms, are more vulnerable in view of their dependence on agriculture and excessive pressure on natural resources. In the recent years, there has been a significant rise in the frequency of extreme weather events affecting farm level productivity and impacting availability of staple food grains at the national level. Within a season, severe droughts and floods are being experienced in the same region, worsening the plight of all stakeholders. Read more »
by Pramod Joshi, International Food Policy Research Institute
Increasing population and rising economic growth are putting tremendous pressure on the agriculture sector to meet the present and future demand for food commodities. Unfortunately, the agriculture sector is confronted with numerous inherited challenges, which include stagnating crop yields and declining profitability mainly due to growing input use inefficiencies and deteriorating quality & quantity of natural resources. Rising food prices, inconsistent domestic and trade policies and deteriorating agri-institutions are further aggravating the agrarian crisis. Climate change is further exasperating the agriculture sector. Read more »
by Bruce Campbell
In 15 years, the globe will have another 1 billion persons, many of them in South Asia. South Asia is also a climate change hotspot as shown in the report by Ericksen and colleagues in Mapping hotspots of climate change and food insecurity in the global tropics. The region is marked by high sensitivity to climate change and relatively low adaptive capacity, because of widespread rural poverty. The region has also been hit by various extreme weather events in the last few years. For example, the major flood of 2007 caused losses in rice yields in the order of a million tonnes in Bangladesh. Rainfall variation within and between years is expected to increase. Himalayan glaciers that account for about 9% of flow in the Ganges are receding, and one anticipated outcome is a rise in the frequency of floods caused by glacial lake outbursts. Read more »
South Asia is considered one of the most vulnerable regions to climate variability and change due to its high population, high exposure to climatic risks, chronic food insecurity, widespread poverty, and relatively limited adaptive capacity. Increasing population and incomes in the region are leading to higher food demand, placing pressure on agricultural systems to produce more food from the same or less land and resources, whose availability is dwindling due to competition with other sectors. The region needs to implement elements of climate smart agriculture (CSA) that sustainably increase productivity and resilience, while also reducing emissions of, or removing, greenhouse gases. Read more »
The 2011 Global Food Policy report was launched today by the International Food Policy Institute (IFPRI), one of the centers participating in the CGIAR Climate Change, Agriculture , and Food Security (CCAFS) program. The report highlights the good news and the bad, related to food security in the last year including more political attention and better thinking on agriculture as part of a wider food system (good), and rising food prices and severe droughts (bad). Read more »
CCAFS Coordinating Unit - University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Science, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Rolighedsvej 21, DK-1958 Frederiksberg C, Denmark, phone +45 35331046; Email ccafs [at] cgiar [dot] org, EAN 5790000279012
Lead Center - International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)