by Timm Tennigkeit and Andreas Wilkes
While there is significant potential for climate change mitigation in the agricultural sector, our recently released research report finds that reducing emissions is also cost competitive.
Many developing countries are actually beginning to recognize low emissions development strategies as a promising pathway to pursue sustainable growth, while protecting their natural capital. Some of them have already prepared low-emission policies and measures in the agricultural sector. Read more »
By Philip Thornton
Since becoming available in June 2011, the on-line and stand-alone versions of the MarkSim GCM stochastic weather generator tool have been widely tested. A few problems were found, which have now been corrected. Both versions of the tool can be used to generate daily data that are characteristic of current conditions, based on the WorldClim dataset, an interpolated surface of weather station data from around the world mostly covering the years 1960-1990.
One version of the tool can be accessed here, in a Google Earth user interface. An alternative version of the tool, which can be run via user-written scripts or calling programmes can be accessed here, along with detailed documentation. Read more »
by Catherine Mungai
The need to harness the value of indigenous ecological and farm knowledge to plan and achieve resilience has been repeatedly raised and emphasized in discussions on food security in a changing climate held at different forums in the East African region.
To address this, the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) East Africa has collaborated with partners to undertake studies focusing on reducing vulnerability to climate change through promising innovations in climate and weather information management in order to enhance rural livelihoods. Read more »
by Julian Ramirez-Villegas
I consider myself a young researcher, with plenty of years left in me to solve some of the problems society faces in terms of climate change. But it is a little disconcerting when I discover that I’ll be retired by the time global climate models are of sufficient quality to plug directly into agricultural models. At least that is the finding of a recent article I lead authored, "Implications of regional improvement in global climate models for agricultural impact research".
The study took the latest global climate projections from CMIP5, those which are the basis for the forthcoming 5th Assessment Report of the IPCC, and examined how they have improved since the last version (CMIP3) which went into the 4th Assessment report back in 2007. Read more »
by Catherine Mungai and Tabitha Muchaba
Livestock is the mainstay of livelihood for the Borana pastoralists in southern Ethiopia. Recurrent cycles of drought are a major factor influencing production systems and livelihoods. This coupled with livestock disease, lack of market and low economic development pose major threats to the Borana pastoralist's livelihoods, who make their living mainly from keeping cattle, shoats and camels.
To cope with climate variability, the Borana community of southern Ethiopia are undertaking improved range management practices such as establishment of fenced rangeland enclosures. Read more »
by Catherine Mungai and Vivian Atakos
CCAFS East Africa in partnership with the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the African Climate Policy Centre (ACPC) are leading initiatives aimed at including agriculture into climate change policy discussions at national, regional and international levels.
The initiatives include a series of consultative workshops bringing together climate change and agriculture experts, negotiators from government institutions, universities, research institutions, NGOs, civil society, farmer organizations and the private sector to develop a comprehensive strategy on including agriculture into climate change discussions and to articulate the African needs and aspirations on agriculture.
A workshop held from 13 to 15 February 2013, in Tanzania, brought together 19 delegates to review the outcome of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties (COP 18) held in December 2012 and to prepare for the Bonn climate talks planned for June this year. Read more »
By guest blogger S. Gopikrishna Warrier
What can be done today to protect South Asia’s agriculture from climate change impacts occurring in 2020?
To find crafty and viable solutions to this question, experts from Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka joined forces with the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) South Asia, in Dhaka, Bangladesh in late February of this year. Read more »
by Kristi Foster
Livelihood- and climate focused agricultural practices help farmers to sustainably increase their farm productivity and build resilience to climate change, while contributing to mitigation. But how does this type of farming — commonly known as climate-smart agriculture or CSA — interact with gender in real-life communities?
In the newly released policy brief, Addressing Gender in Climate-Smart Smallholder Agriculture researchers from CARE International, the CGIAR Research Programme on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) and the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) share their insights on gender. The brief highlights the importance of a flexible learning approach in advancing gender equity goals and improving outcomes for farmers and projects.
The Sustainable Agriculture in a Changing Climate (SACC) project, on which the policy brief is based, has gleaned several important insights into gender and CSA: Read more »
Edited by Lucy Holt
Irregular climatic variations are a major problem for agricultural production. However, knowledge on weather patterns can allow for the development of seasonal management strategies that account for weather patterns, even as they oscillate. Ultimately, this helps to secure farmers livelihoods.
There are many ways of producing this knowledge. In Senegal, the CGIAR Research Programme on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) has paired local farmers with meteorologists to show the combination of indigenous knowledge and scientific knowledge can equal more than the sum of its parts.
Now, in the Andes, CCAFS has teamed up with International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), the National Institute for Space Research (INPE), Brazil, and Colombia´s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MADR), to found the project: Seasonal climate forecasts for agricultural crop and risk management. Read more »
by Hilde Zevenbergen
Tamil Nadu is a state in Southern India that sets itself apart from other agriculture-dependent regions, as it has historically performed rather well when it comes to agricultural production. One reason is that here, farmers are relatively more responsive and receptive to changing technologies and market forces.
To learn more about these farmers' adaptability to new technologies and potential experiences with crop insurance, especially from community-based crop insurance structures, researchers ventured out into Vellore, a Tamil Nadu district. The objective was to find out if climate insurance schemes could be a viable instrument to help farmers manage ongoing weather related risks, and how it has been used up to now in this area via community-based insurance activities.
The initial findings from the field study show that even if insurance schemes could be a solution to decrease vulnerability and ensure income stability, farmers’ awareness of the product and its functions need to be strengthened in order to make sure it is used efficiently. 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)