by Yemi Ademiluyi
I tagged along with Jessica Thorn when she went out into the field in search of dry season farms. Jessica, a researcher from Oxford University, is working on mapping project sites in Lawra-Jirapa in Northern Ghana as part of the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS).
In the field Jess is using a combination of quantitative ecological field-testing techniques with qualitative sociological methods. These surveys are used to assess the relationship between ecosystem processes, goods, services and human well being in a changing climate. Read more »
by Jacob van Etten
“So we pulled out the radishes!” We are standing next to a plot with three different wheat varieties in a CCAFS-led Climate-Smart Village in Vaishali district, India. Farmers here are testing out wheat varieties we supplied to them through a climate change adaptation project. “The wheat seeds arrived late, but we still wanted to test them. So we made the space.”
During our visit to Vaishali, it was clear that farmers liked the new wheat varieties. Read more »
by Wilco Terink, Futurewater
Crop growth models play a major role in sustaining the world-wide food security. These models are used to simulate crop growth during the growing season, and the final crop yield at the end of the growing season, given the farmers’ management practices. At a more strategic level, these crop growth models play an important role to decision makers to take timely decisions regarding food import and export strategies.
The simulation accuracy of crop growth models relies on the quality of the input data. Since crop yield forecasting applications are often applied over large areas that rely on a spatially distributed crop growth model, the uncertainty in the spatial variation of the input data increases. Read more »
By Caity Peterson
Forestry isn’t generally thought of as a game of chance. That designation is usually reserved for cards, horse races, and Parcheesi tournaments. But, when one throws in the volatile variable of a changing climate, the process of tree caretaking becomes an intimidating gamble.
Christoph Leibing, a PhD candidate at the University of Hamburg Centre for Wood Science and Technology, Hamburg, Germany, presented his work last week, February 5, 2013 at the IUFRO Breeding for Value in a Changing World Conference in Jacksonville, Florida. The paper, “Selection of provenances to adapt tropical pine forestry to climate change on the basis of climate analogues,” represents the first published example of the CCAFS Climate Analogues tool in use — a landmark achievement. Read more »
by Vanessa Meadu
In Sri Lanka, where climate change is expected to contribute to rising temperatures and changes in the quantity and distribution of rainfall, there are serious concerns about the impacts on farming. This extends to the livelihoods of smallholder farmers who rely on the land for income, and also the food security of Sri Lankans who rely on key crops for food.
The International Water Management Institute (IWMI), which has been working in partnership with Sri Lankan government agencies in 2009, has made a significant contribution to the development of Sri Lanka’s climate change adaptation policies. Read more »
by Laura Cramer
When people think of baseline surveys, they most likely think of quantitative, structured interview processes - like the ones carried out for the CCAFS household baseline survey. In that exercise, we randomly selected 140 households in each site to answer questions about their agricultural practices, months of food shortage, sources of weather information and other topics that can serve as a basis for comparison when we revisit them in 5-10 years.
Household village survey example: Bit by bit, East African smallholder farmers adapting to climate change
But we are attempting to influence more than just individual households. We also hope to see changes in community action and local institutions as a result of our work and the work of others. Read more »
Save the date! On Monday February 18, 10:00AM Central European Time (Convert Time Zone), we will broadcast our first online science seminar for 2013.
The seminar will explore the social dimensions of climate change: how development programming needs to embrace resilience, the transformative cornerstones of social science research for climate change, and gender and social differentiation in building agricultural climate resilience.
The CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) is very proud to be organising this seminar in partnership with both the Danish Institute of International Studies and Copenhagen University. With three short presentations, a panel discussion, and an open discussion during which the online audience can ask questions over chat, the seminar promises to be a dynamic start to your working week. Join in the discussion on twitter using #climaterights
By Bruce Campbell
Farmers have been at the forefront of changes and “shocks” since time immemorial, so are well placed to counter climate change. However, “coping” is insufficient if food security is to be achieved. Farmers need to know what kind of season is coming, and thus what and when to plant. They need to know about the outbreak of new pests and diseases. On the longer term, they need to know whether a shift in crop species or different farming strategies are needed. A cornerstone of active adaptation is information availability: varieties to grow, diversification options, seasonal climate forecasts, flood and cyclone warnings, pest and disease outbreaks, market options.
by Lucy Holt
As the recent negotiations in Doha showed, the adaptation of our food systems to a changing climate and growing population, and the mitigation of emissions created by those systems, are too often viewed as mutually exclusive goals. But it is becoming increasingly clear that this need not be so. As many of the success stories from Agriculture, Landscapes and Livelihoods Day (ALL5) give testament to, adaptation and mitigation often come hand-in-hand. What's more, with proper planning and implementation, switching to climate-smart agricultural practices can increase agricultural outputs, not decrease them.
While not all adaptive practices will help mitigate the impacts of climate change, and not all mitigative practices will help to increase food production, the question remains, how can we find synergies between adaptation and mitigation and scale-up these specific success-stories to help plan for a sustinable food secure future? Read more »
By Caity Peterson
Catfish farmers in Vietnam’s Mekong River Delta are barely scraping by. They operate on the tightest of profit margins – 3% to 5% in a good year – and deal with a highly volatile, boom-and-bust export market. For an industry that’s already on the brink, could the addition of negative climate change impacts push it over the edge?
Researchers at WorldFish, as part of the project “Investigating the vulnerability of and economics of adapting aquaculture in Vietnam to climate change”, partly funded by the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), have attempted to calculate the costs of adaptation to these impacts, a first for fisheries and aquaculture at the national level.
Fish on the fryer
Aquaculture in the Mekong River Delta accounts for 80% of Vietnam’s total shrimp production and 76% of its cultured fish production (2008 statistics). In addition to our beleaguered catfish, the most important product here is brackish-water shrimp, cultivated both extensively and intensively over large areas of the delta. Being largely coastal endeavors, catfish and shrimp farming will undoubtedly be affected by the changing climate.
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)