par Sonja Vermeulen
Dix à vingt ans c’est le délai typiquement nécessaire à la conception et la mise en œuvre de la plupart des interventions essentielles à l'agriculture: le développement de nouvelles variétés de cultures, les infrastructures d’irrigation ou de stockage d’eau à l’échelle de bassins versants, ou encore l'implantation et création de nouveau grands centres de traitement. La bonne conception de n’importe laquelle de ces interventions dépend d’une bonne connaissance du climat attendu une fois qu'elles seront en place et en fonctionnement. Les planificateurs et décideurs ont besoin d’avoir, à une ou deux décennies d'avance, des prévisions météorologiques locales fiables pour des variables clés telles que la variabilité interannuelle des précipitations ou la durée de la saison de croissance. Read more »
by Sonja Vermeulen
Ten to twenty years is the typical timeframe for designing and implementing many of the interventions most critical to agriculture: new crop varieties, or catchment-wide infrastructure for irrigation and water storage, or siting and establishment of major new processing hubs. Good design of any of these depends on knowing what the climate will be like once they are up and running. What planners and policy-makers need are reliable local forecasts, for a decade or two ahead, of key variables such as inter-annual variability in rainfall, or length of the growing season.
The bad news is that impatient end-users are likely to wait some years before “good-enough” decadal forecasts are available for most regions. Read more »
Written by Chase Sova
Putting agriculture in the climate change agenda has raised a number of important issues such as threats of trade barriers, diversion of REDD+ funds to agriculture, how to deal with its cross-cutting and complex nature, and the links between agricultural mitigation and adaptation. Many of these issues have already become central talking points in UNFCCC negotiations (read David Howlett’s related analysis on “Political Economy and Food Security” for more information). However, it is worth remembering that these issues have much broader relevance to the ability to produce feasible adaptation and mitigation solutions in agriculture.
Irrespective of where we are in the process of embedding agriculture into efforts to fight climate change (be it at the negotiating table in Durban or a subsistence farming community in Western Kenya), we must address issues of scalability, the adaptation-mitigation interface, equity in carbon payments, and agriculture’s cross-sectoral nature, in order to ensure climate measures are most effective.
This post looks more closely at one of these issues; namely scalability, or a system's capacity to adapt to changes in size and complexity. Read more »
by Cecilia Schubert
Cassava has long been understood as being one of the most resilient crops in the tropics, surviving in a challenging environment that is both hot and dry. Impressive as this is, new research from the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) points to cassava actually thriving in a warmer climate, making it the “Rambo of food crops”. The newly released research results have been published in a special edition of the scientific journal Tropical Plant Biology where it concludes that the cassava root will come to brush off the expected temperature rises of up to 2 degrees Celsius in Africa by 2030 and could even prove to be more productive thanks to the warming climate. Seeing that it very seldom happens, climate change could prove to bring something positive to the region for a change. Read more »
by Ousmane Ndiaye and Robert Zougmoré
Seasonal climate forecasts could have considerable potential to improve agricultural management and livelihoods for smallholder farmers. But constraints related to legitimacy, salience, access, understanding, capacity to respond and data scarcities have so far limited the widespread use and benefit from seasonal predictions in the Sahel region. The existing constraints reflect inadequate information services, policies or institutional process in the region, however there are great potential in overcoming them. One trend is that regional climate outlook forums and national meteorological services have been at the forefront to provide forecast information for agriculture to rural farmers. One example of this is the communication workshop on probabilistic seasonal climate forecast, held in Senegal last year and supported by CCAFS. As part of the work on providing farmers with forecasts, a follow up workshop was held in late January to see how farmers used the information in their agricultural practices and what needs to be further improved. Read more »
by Joost Vervoort
The need for strategic, concerted action for improved food security, environments and livelihoods in the developing world is a major challenge. We live in a time when changing conditions and risks associated with climate change interact with rapid political, economic and social changes in the world's vulnerable regions.
Attempts to predict future changes in such complex, rapidly changing conditions are extremely difficult if not impossible. Illusions of predictability are potentially dangerous. Still, governments and non-state actors alike must think and act strategically in the face of uncertainty.
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)