By An Notenbaert and Stanley Karanja Ng'ang'a
At a household level, a number of factors influence the nature and degree of people’s vulnerability to the climate change. A new study by CCAFS amongst agro-pastoralist households in Mozambique has analyzed a variety of indicators normally used in vulnerability assessments to measure the influence of these vulnerability variables on coping capacity within a changing climate. The study gives us more certainty about the influence that some of these variables have on coping capacity. For instance, income diversification, increasing access to infrastructure and saving, seemed to promote adaptation and are also widely applicable.
By Caity Peterson
You're hungry for pizza. Walking around the neighborhood, you find two pizzerias not far from each other. They're both selling pretty much the same thing - crust with cheese and tomatoes on top - and at the same price. But one offers you a free delicious ice-cold 2-liter soda to go with your hawaiian. That makes your choice easy, no?
Believe it or not, something similar is happening in Uganda. Only we're not talking about pizza, and the choice is a bit more complicated.
The comestibles in question here are two of the country's most important agricultural commodities. One, coffee, makes up 20-30% of Uganda's foreign exchange earnings and creates a cash boom for smallholders once or twice a year. The other, banana, is the country's principle staple crop, providing a small, steady food harvest all year long. In fact, Uganda was the 2nd largest banana producer in the world in 2008, and the 11th largest coffee producer.
By Vanessa Meadu
In a world that is becoming increasingly food-insecure, due to population growth, climate change, volatile food prices, unequal food access, and inefficient supply chains, what solutions exist to feed 9 billion people by the year 2050?
The problem we face is by its nature very complex, so it stands to reason that solutions will need to address a range of issues, often several at once. Where do we begin?
By Vanessa Meadu
A central question at the current Rio+20 negotiations is how to shift to a sustainable, green economy.
One way is to place an economic value on environmental goods and services and encourage a shift towards more sustainable activities by paying or rewarding those who practice good stewardship. In the agricultural sector, this means paying or rewarding farmers who adopt good practices. Payment for Ecosystem Services, or PES, is an innovative market-based approach currently being used around the world to encourage such shifts.
Over 500 farmers representatives, scientists and development practitioners were out in force today at the third Agriculture and Rural Development Day (ARDD) in Durban. They are determined to put agriculture on the COP 17 agenda.
Their arguments are clear:
Any serious effort to reduce green house gasses must include agriculture. And COP 17 is the chance for Africa to shape the agenda and establish an agriculture work program that is informed by science and covers adaptation and mitigation. And even for some `No agriculture, No deal’.
And today these voices are being heard. Read more »
Guest blog post by Gabrielle Kissinger, Lexeme Consulting
The CGIAR Climate program recently submitted input to the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) of the UNFCCC on the importance of addressing agricultural drivers of deforestation in REDD+ development. Read more »
Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have the potential to help monitor climate change as well as help farmers adapt and mitigate to its effects. This important link was discussed at the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) symposium on ICTs, Environment and Climate Change held in late July in Accra, Ghana.
In Africa, where half the continent’s population uses a mobile phone, people now have unprecedented access to information via their handsets. The Guardian recently reported on the multiple ways mobile phones have catalysed innovation, including in the farming sector. For example, farmers from isolated areas can access weather information via text messages (SMS) or phone calls, to prepare for upcoming drought spells, heavy rain or floods. Read more »
This blog post was written by CCAFS Theme Leader Andy Jarvis for CIAT's blog.
This is the scene of a booming organic banana business which is competing with the Dominican Republic to deliver organic bananas to environmentally conscientious consumers in Europe and the US. In a visit to Piura, Peru, I was told that this is now a US$50 million dollar enterprise, and it is smallholders who are benefitting from it. Historically, this region has been a hotspot of poverty in Latin America. The natural resource base is practically non-existent, and at least for agriculture there weren’t many options with just 60mm of rainfall falling every year. But the one thing that Piura does have is a river, and the vast water-way that flows through this desert in northern Peru comes from the mountains where glaciers are melting, and rain is falling on the steep Andean slopes. Banana producers flood their fields with water from the River Chiura and River Piura as many as three times a month, and so it doesn’t matter that it doesn’t rain. The other massive advantage that this region has is that there are practically no banana pests or diseases/.../Bananas are booming in northern Peru. I can tell you, it was really fascinating to see all this. Read the full entry on CIATS blog.
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)