Farms of the Future

Farms of the Future

Background

The analogues approach is a novel way of supporting modeled policy recommendations with on-the-ground empirical testing. Analogues refer to sites or years that experience conditions with statistical, mathematical similarity, primarily in terms of climate, but they can also include additional factors such as soils, crops, and socioeconomic characteristics. Using a CCAFS tool that aggregates these factors, users can identify analogous locations in user-selected year(s), and in this way complement otherwise top-down global models with targeted field trials or visits. Information on the analogue sites, gathered from local field studies or trial site data, can then be used and compared to inform further studies or to identify high-potential adaptation pathways.

The CCAFS “Farms of the Future” project will use the climate analogue tool to connect farmers to their possible climate futures via farm visits. This novel approach of farmer-to-farmer exchanges between spatial analogues will integrate participatory learning principles, in order to promote knowledge sharing between producer communities.  A key output is hence the creation of a new network of innovative farmers. The approach will also permit the participatory diagnosis of capacities and needs, thus aiding in the design of community-appropriate adaptation strategies. Lastly, it will improve understanding of local practices and available tools for enabling change. Once refined, the methodology will be global enough to implement anywhere, giving scientists the ability to validate computational models with analogue proxies and to ground mathematical projections with qualitative, real world assessments.

Objectives

1. Test and validate a method to identify analogue sites (sites which give insights into the future climatic conditions) through case studies;

2. Devise, test and validate an approach for farmer-to-farmer exchanges to analogue sites.

3. Devise adaptation strategies for farming communities, involving local leaders, private sector actors and the service sector.

Activities

The project will consist of three major phases:

  • Collation of latest GCM and RCM climate projections for the country, and incorporation into the already developed climate analogue method for identifying 2030 future climates today (2010-2011)
  • Application of the analogue method to identify and implement a strategy of facilitated farmer-to-farmer exchanges across the country using innovative participatory approaches (2011)
  • Synthesis of findings from farmer exchanges and establishment of strategies for farmer innovation networks to support adaptation nationally (2012)

Outputs

  • Model approach to identifying analogue sites
  • Method of farmer-to-farmer knowledge learning and sharing produced and tested
  • Network of innovative farmers initiatedDocumentation of the effects of socio-cultural characteristics on mitigation and adaptation practices
  • Workable mitigation and adaptation strategies that can be implemented by local partners and through future action research identified and implementedPolicy advisory document targeted to national decision makers on climate change, local impacts and promising adaptation and mitigation options

Partners

Walker Institute for Climate System Research, University of Reading, UK to validate methodology and South Asia partner (TBD).

Timeframe

Sept-Dec 2011: Application of analogues tool and farmer exchange method.

2012: Synthesis of findings