The headlines this week scream about the monster storm that struck the east coast of the United States this week. Dozens of people perished, more than 7 million people lost power, more than 16,000 airplane flights have been cancelled, the subway systems in New York and Washington DC were flooded, and the New York Stock Exchange shut down for the first time since 1888.
But hundreds of miles inland, the Midwest farms of the U.S. are still starved for water after a horrid summer and fall of drought, and the question of how agriculture needs to change with the climate has finally been accepted by many whose livelihoods are tied to their crops. And thousands of miles away, farmers in developing countries are facing similar, and graver challenges, as climate change threatens staple tropical crops and the ecosystems that sustain them. In regions which are prone to food insecurity, such as sub-Saharan Africa, this could spell disaster.
A new policy brief by the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) outlines the challenges required in feeding the estimated 9-10 billion people who will live in this world by 2050. In the brief, the need for a complete recalibration of what we grow around the world is detailed, as climate change will bring challenges in weather, water use, and even increased crop pests and diseases. Read more »
By Caity Peterson
You can run into all kinds of people at major global agricultural conferences – Bruce Campbell, Director of the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), for example.
Spying Dr. Campbell alone, exposed like a gazelle in the vast corridors of the Conrad Hotel – the venue for the Second Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development (GCARD2) – with nothing but a cup of coffee to defend himself, an auxiliary unit of the GCARD2 social reporting team seized the opportunity to corner him for a lightning interview. Read more »
By Caity Peterson
Most of us would think that the way to make women better farmers is to empower women farmers. The logic is there. The directness of the approach is appealing. So what are we missing?
On day one of the Second Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development, (GCARD2), the Policy Forum on Agricultural Innovation for Rural Women gave conference-goers a taste of progressive research and initiatives aiming to improve the state of rural women for food security.
We may not realize it, but women, especially in Africa, prefer to get their information from other women. They can relate better, they feel more comfortable and are more willing to work together. With men, they have less confidence and are less likely to open up. Read more »
By Caity Peterson
Abrar Chaudhury isn’t a fan of top down adaptation costing. “Top down, purely econometric approaches usually way underestimate the true costs of adaptation,” he says. But he also says that a bottom up, community directed approach isn’t the absolute answer either. “The real story,” he asserts, “is in the difference between the two.”
Chaudhury’s work involves the use of a new community adaptation prioritization and planning tool called Participatory Social Return on Investment (PSROI). PSROI builds on traditional Social Return on Investment methods – which normal focus on economic analysis of pre-determined interventions – by integrating a participatory, community-driven component.
By Caity Peterson
A detective solves a mystery by starting from the end result – the crime scene – and working backwards to determine the cause – the crime. The same logic, called backcasting, is also the key to climate change adaptation and development.
Joost Vervoort, scenarios officer for the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), and Katindi Sivi Njonjo Society for International Development in Kenya spoke to a group of CCAFS stakeholders as a prelude to the Second Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development (GCARD2) in Punta del Este, Uruguay.
By Caity Peterson
Worst-case scenarios for climate impacts, GDP growth and population increase point to a world where the majority of people in low-income developing nations are living at an intake of just around 1,800 calories a day. It therefore doesn't take a genius to understand why pessimists in our midst are seeing a future of mass starvation.
In fact, says Gerald Nelson of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), “if you’re thinking about the future and you’re not thinking about climate change, you’re making a huge mistake.”
Speaking to participants and partners at the Second Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development (GCARD2) in Punta del Este, Uruguay, Nelson highlighted the important role that foresight must play in connecting the research done at the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) science to its use in society.
By Alejandra Martins, BBC Mundo, 24 October 2012
When researchers from totally different continents met this year in Uruguay, they were looking to resolve one of the future’s great challenges: How to feed a growing world population that will reach 9 billion people in 2050.
The South American country has achieved rice yields comparable with what would be expected of the most fertile zones of the United States, thanks to a model that could contain vital lessons for other nations. The advance is one of those high-impact innovations that will be discussed at next week’s international summit, the Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development (GCARD).
“We estimate that in 2035 it will be necessary to produce 116 million tons more of polished or dry rice every year to satisfy global demand,” said Achim Dobermann, the director of the International Rice Institute in the Philippines, to BBC Mundo. The current global production of dry rice (the kind that reaches the consumer) is close to 480 million tons. Dobermann is one of the experts who recently visited plantations of rice in Uruguay, together with representatives from Africa, Asia and other regions. “The advances in this country can offer lessons that could be adapted for other countries. We are looking at Uruguay in that context,” said Dobermann. How has Uruguay achieved its high yields? And to what extent can this strategy serve for other nations as well?
While cereal production in India has increased significantly since the mid-1960s as a result of the Green Revolution, securing the gains achieved is becoming more difficult in the context of soaring food and fuel prices, volatile markets, depleting water resources, soil degradation, and the effects of global climate change. To discuss strategies for improving efficiency and resilience of farming systems as a way to ensure sustainable food security, over 400 participants gathered for an in-field stakeholder meeting on ‘Empowering Farmers for Climate Smart Agricultural Practices in Haryana’ in Taraori, Karnal, India, on 28 September 2012. The CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) South Asia program, and the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) organized the event, among others. Read more »
By Parvin Sultana
Floods are more or less a recurring phenomenon in Bangladesh and mainly are within tolerable limits with which farming systems are well adapted. However, occasionally they become devastating. Each year in Bangladesh about 18% of the country is flooded, but during severe floods, the affected area may exceed 55% of the total area of the country. Besides flood, the changes in the timing and duration of rainfall, temperature; and duration and intensity of fog are indicators of climate change. The changed timing and duration of the flood “flash” has been observed as now it comes late in August or September and stays only for 10-15 days whereas in the past, normal flood used to occur in June-July and stayed for 1-1.5 months. Read more »
By Salman Asif Siddiqui and Sajid Pareeth
International Water Management Institute (IWMI) created history when it first came out with its comprehensive Global Irrigated Area Map (GIAM) in 2006 using satellite imageries and time series analysis. Since then, the South Asian region has undergone several changes in land use and demography due to rapid economic growth. Simultaneously, the climatic extremes have further amplified these changes in the recent years. Therefore, it is imperative to estimate the irrigated areas under such regions for planning the climate risk management strategies required to ensure food security. An improved version of the map would help the researchers to estimate the water use and study the impacts of climate change in the area. 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)