What are the necessary steps for making 500 million farmers climate-resilient in 10 years?
Five years of research by CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) has focused on seeking solutions to help the world's poorest farmers become climate-resilient. Ensuring that our future is food-secure is a challenging task but not an impossible one. According to Ram Badan Singh, Chancellor, Central Agricultural University of India:
“The focus should be on accelerated, sustained, inclusive, pro-women, pro-poor and pro-youth development.”
Step 1: Put the right technology into farmers’ hands
Success stories from around there world prove that climate-smart agriculture increases productivity and builds resilience. Farmers must be equipped with the appropriate technology in order to effectively adapt to climate change.
Step 2: Get farmers insured
Climatic extremes challenge the capacity of small-scale farmers. Establishing index insurance schemes in agriculture enhances climate resilience and can help farmers make much-needed investments in climate-smart technologies.
Step 3: Deliver climate forecasts directly
Variable weather makes it difficult for farmers to know what to plant and when to plant. Climate information is therefore important to send to farmers through the most effective communication channels such as mobile phones and interactive radio programming.
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Step 4: Enhance the national enabling environment
It is crucial that national policies support climate-smart agriculture. According to Roberto Ridolfi, Director, Sustainable Growth and Development, Directorate Development and Cooperation, European Commission: “creating partnerships which put farmers first and involve national governments, private sector and civil society is critical to ensure that smallholder farmers combine their knowledge with research findings to develop new practices.”
Step 5: Inform global policies and processes
Tacking issues of climate change within major development initiatives can be a real challenge. CCAFS partners with nearly 900 diverse organizations, including governments, research organizations and farmer networks to bridge the gap between research and policy.
Step 6: Scale up climate investments in CSA
Climate-smart investments are needed so that farmers get the best available assistance to cope with climate change.
These six steps to success can best be taken if researchers involve civil society, farmers and youth, and, as Lindiwe Sibanda, Chief Executive Officer and Head of Mission, FANRPAN said: "equip them with knowledge that they can use in their policy advocacy efforts. Researchers also need to know how to communicate with these stakeholders, we need to greatly improve our understanding of what is needed for behavioural change."