Global food systems are at the intersection of three major challenges under climate change:

  1. to increase food production and to achieve food security even as largely negative climate change impacts are being felt;
  2. to enhance the resilience of farming communities to these impacts; and
  3. to reduce emissions from food systems, to help meet the 2

    °

    C target to limit global warming, set out in the Paris climate agreement.

In this context, food systems will need to transform, and climate-smart agriculture (CSA) has emerged as a key approach to driving transformational change.

In recent years, the international community has increasingly emphasized the need to accelerate the transformation agenda by scaling CSA. 

What is scaling?

CCAFS' definition of scaling is constantly evolving. Our current working defintion understands scaling as the set of processes required—in the context of climate variability, climate change and uncertainty about future climate conditions—to go beyond pilot projects through sustainable change (i.e. in knowledge, attitudes and skills) that can bring higher quality solutions to millions of farmers and food system actors in a fast, equitable, inclusive, and lasting manner, towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Successful scaling builds on actions in at least five areas: 1) developing ownership and capacity of institutions and services; 2) designing inclusive options that consider the differing goals, levels of influence, and access to resources of different social groups that change over time; 3) building evidence for and on scaling processes; 4) coordinating relevant climate, agricultural, food and other policies needed to create an enabling environment; and 5) providing sustainable and strategic investment.

How we scale

In CCAFS’ second phase, scaling efforts have a greater focus through the cross-cutting Learning Platform on Partnerships and Capacity for Scaling CSA, hosted by the Priestley International Centre for Climate, University of Leeds. The Learning Platform facilitates scaling CSA through research and science-based action, partnerships, capacity enhancement, communications and engagement, knowledge and data sharing, and sustainable finance.

Learn more about CCAFS' approach to scaling.

Achieving transformation

Driving transformation is not easy, so the Learning Platform has gathered over 100 partners and leaders in science, business, farming, policy and grassroots organization together in a new initiative, Transforming Food Systems Under a Changing Climate, to identify pathways to scale climate-smart agriculture. The initiative seeks to mobilize knowledge and catalyze action in six areas, all essential elements of transformation. To find out what they are and learn more about the initiative, please visit the initiative's website.