by Dr. Arame Tall
Farmers across the developing world are in dire need of relevant climate services. Not only do they need climate services to advise them on when to sow, harvest, and expect rains, but also to help them plan beyond the season. In other words, farmers need information to plan for a food secure future.
But how can we build an effective system that puts important forecast information about climate in the hands of vulnerable communities, especially marginalized farmers and women, often located in remote area? One initial step is to get all the stakeholders involved in the chain of production and communication of climate services in one room, and get them to talk for three days. Read more »
edited by Cecilia Schubert
Pastoralists on the Borana Plateau of Ethiopia are tirelessly dealing with extended and more frequent droughts, occurring at a scale they have seldom witnessed before. At the same time, they have to adapt to population growth, land use changes and unreliable climate patterns, in the midst of the ongoing struggle against dried up pastures. The common perception among the pastoralists is that droughts are increasing, in severity, and duration. They also feel that increased cropping and town sprawl have captured much of the fertile pastures, leaving little left for animals to graze on. In the light of these environmental and social changes, how are pastoralists, non-governmental organizations and government responding? Which responses are likely to be most successful and how will the various initiatives interact?
Video poster: Climate Risk Adaptation Strategies of Boran Pastoralists
by Vanessa Meadu, Francesco Fiondella and Brian Kahn
The massive and wide-scale drought that has left American farmers shaking their fists at barren clouds is the fifth-worst on record for the U.S. Eight out of every ten acres of agricultural land has been affected. As a result, farmers will pull in the lowest corn yield in more than a decade, and the soybean harvest will also be significantly lower than average. American consumers will likely feel the impact of this at the checkout counter in the months to come.
These harsh realities come in a country that has some of the most sophisticated data and technology for climate and weather monitoring in the world. Read more »
by Cecilia Schubert
Women in rural areas in developing countries are not equally vulnerable to climate change. A woman's resilience to the various impacts of climate change depends on her social status, her access to resources, and involvement in social networks. In some cases, one woman can be more resilient than her neighbour, and even be more resilient than some men in her village. Women are also not necessarily victims of climate change but can contribute to finding solutions on how to cope with climate change. The same applies for men. But in order to adress the gender-based needs and differences that exist, more information from the ground is required.
The newly released Working Paper Participatory gender-sensitive approaches for addressing key climate change-related research issues moves from theory to practice through the testing of pre-prepared participatory research tools in Bangladesh, Ghana and Uganda. The tools were first developed in the gender-manual ”Gender and Climate Change Research in Agriculture and Food Security for Rural Development” (PDF) released earlier this year, together with the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). The rationale behind the manual and the field tests was to get a better understanding of the reality female and male farmers face, and find gender-differences that impede climate change adaptation in developing countries. Read more »
By Colin Khoury
We are happy to announce the launch of the Crop Wild Relatives and Climate Change website. The new site is dedicated to compiling and providing information on the taxonomy, distribution, conservation status and breeding potential of the wild relatives of major crops. Developed under the project “Adapting Agriculture to Climate Change: Collecting, Protecting, and Preparing Crop Wild Relatives” and building upon its activities, this website is intended to become a lasting data repository. The project is led by the Global Crop Diversity Trust in association with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, supported by the Government of Norway. It focuses on the wild species in the genepools of 26 crops of major importance to food security that fall under the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. Read more »
By Jeremy Cherfas
There’s one optimistic conclusion for agriculture under climate change: modelling the future suggests that for many places, the climate they face in 20 or 30 years is already present somewhere on Earth. Farmers and plant scientists can prepare for the future by using something like the Climate Analogues Tool to suggest places to look for crops and varieties that might to some extent be pre-adapted to predicted conditions. The next problem, of course, is to access that genetic diversity.
The free movement of the genetic resources themselves and information about them is thus a crucial element in efforts to adapt agriculture to climate change.
The new study, "Flows under stress: Availability of plant genetic resources in times of climate and policy change" describe how plant genetic resources move into and out of the CGIAR system. The study was carried out for the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) by researchers at Bioversity International. It further reveals the invisible flows of material and identifies some of the blockages. Read more »
By Jeremy Cherfas
While some scientists are working hard to breed new crop varieties better adapted to the predicted impacts of climate change, others are exploring adaptation options already present in genebanks and in farmers’ fields. Read more »
By Christine Negra
The scientific community can, and must, solidify the knowledge base on food security in a changing climate. There are key areas where scientific knowledge is needed to help pave the way for strategic, sustainable investments in climate-resilient agricultural production systems and low-waste supply chains that also deliver adequate nutrition. The priorities for researchers and research funding organizations are highlighted in a new journal article on “The role for scientists in tackling food insecurity and climate change” authored by members of the Commission on Sustainable Agriculture and Climate Change. Read more »
The Farms of the Future project helps farmers envision their future climate by taking them there… on a bus. Neil Palmer, from the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) reports from Beora, Nepal, where the first farmer visits recently took place. This story was originally posted on the CIAT blog.
I knew not to expect “guide book” Nepal: majestic, snowy peaks; multicoloured prayer flags fluttering against clear blue skies. But nothing quite prepared me for the Terai. Around 120 km west of the capital Kathmandu, this is a hazy, sweltering, lowland plain, where daytime temperatures hover around 45 degrees Celsius, with little respite after dark.
With the sweat pouring off you day and night, it’s so hot it’s hard to concentrate. Every few minutes for the first few days, I’d close my eyes and catch fleeting, dream-like sequences of gulping down ice cold water; gushing Alpine waterfalls; news footage of buff-chested Russians swan-diving into semi-frozen lakes. You shake the images away, but the heat persists.
Despite the tough conditions, the Terai is Nepal’s breadbasket, producing around 50% of the country’s food. Rice, wheat, maize and a variety of vegetables are all grown here, in the northeastern reaches of the Indo-Gangetic Plain. Read more »
By Chase Sova
Persistence and diversification. Oddly enough, these two themes prove common between successful climate change adaptation, as well as getting to meet the Prime Minister of Nepal, Mr. Baburam Bhattarai. At least, this is the light-hearted lesson that The Adaptation to progressive climate change- and Oxford University Research Team drew from their recent meeting with the Prime Minister in early August. 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)