Climate-Smart Smallholder Agriculture – Old Wine in New Bottles?

Elwyn Grainger-Jones, Director Environment and Climate Division, IFAD

Old wine, new bottles?

1. Scale up sustainable intensification

Agroforestry – Burkina Faso

Biogas - Eritrea

Saves fuelwood, captures methane. Provides organic fertilizer and energy/light, smokefree cooking

Rangeland management in Morocco

Urea Deep Placement (UDP)

Can increase yields by 25% while using less than 50% as much urea


Togo - transhumant pastoralism on the rise due to Sahel drought/crisis – increased smallholder challenges

Gambia – land and water management
Land and water management – The Gambia

Some „old‟ (agronomic) wine…
FEATURE • Maximum use of natural processes + ecosystems • Less external inorganic inputs & waste • Diversity + proportionality of production • Mixture of traditional & new technologies

PRIMARY IMPACT • Maintained and enhanced groundcover • Healthy soil that can retain nutrients & moisture • Enhanced biodiversity

MULTIPLE BENEFITS • Yields • Profit • Local pollution And some.. • Resilience • Emissions

Context: Green revolution paradigm being replaced with…?
• Uniformity vs heterogeneity • Production vs „the rest‟ • Technology vs systems • Vertical/crops vs horizontal/landscapes • Short-term vs long-term • GM vs organics • Limitless vs limited planetary resources

2. Add climate dimensions

So, what’s new?

1. Greater attention to the assessment and management of climate risks 2. A focus on long-term development scenarios

3. Greater attention to developing the capabilities of local institutions to deal with uncertainty, change and surprises
4. Thinking about emissions too

5. Measuring adaptation and mitigation impacts

1. Management of climate risks - understanding what climate shocks and stresses mean for farmers
 Climate shocks: climate extremes, extreme weather events: Rapid onset event e.g. floods, storms, wave surges, rainfallinduced landslides, hailstorms, frost, forest/scrub fires Slow onset events e.g. agricultural/meteorological/hydrological drought, heat waves Some shocks are biologically induced but compounded by climatic factors - e.g. pest infestations, water- borne or vectorborne diseases.

 Climate stresses: Persistent occurrence of lower-intensity damaging events - e.g. soil erosion, degradation of coastal ecosystems, salinization of soils & groundwater, glacial melt, soil evaporation, ocean acidification, species migration, sea level rise)

Patterns of risk are changing
• Coping cannot be maintained with historic experience / traditional knowledge alone • Losses and damages in livelihood systems increase and become more unpredictable

Climatic variations (e.g. rainfall)


Note the difference between weather (short-term variability) and climate (long-term trend!)

2. A focus on long-term development scenarios

years from now

2°C warming very likely

4°C warming possible

1m sea level rise likely
Adapted from CSIRO (Roth, 2010)

3. Developing the capabilities of local institutions to deal with uncertainty, change and surprises. Ready or not?
1) Ability to assess: Do institutions examine available information to guide decision making? On what basis? Which information is available / not available? How iterative?
2) Ability to prioritize: On what basis are local institutions assigning special importance to particular issues, areas, sectors, or community groups? How is the ability to engage stakeholders? How transparent is prioritization? 3) Ability to coordinate: Do institutions harmonize action at multiple levels, both within and outside of government? Is there avoidance of duplication, identification of gaps, or creation of economies of scale? How is awareness raised and information shared? Horizontal and/or vertical?

4) Ability to manage information: How are institutions collecting, analyzing, and disseminating new information in support of risk management activities? Does this information cover climate variables, the status of natural and human systems, and coping strategies?
5) Ability to manage risk: Are institutions able to identify priority elements at risk and their exposure and sensitivity? Are they able to evaluate options to address risks (reduce, accommodate, or transfer)? 6) Ability to work with different sources of finance

4. Thinking about emissions too

Food systems contributes 10,000 to17,000 Mt CO2 eq 19-29% global GHGs 80-86% of this comes from agriculture, but with wide regional variation
Vermeulen et al. 2012 Annual Review of Environment and Resources (in press)

3. Integration

“Submersible” rural roads - Bangladesh

Mekong Delta 9cm sea level rise last 40 years 30% rice production, 25% catfish production lost by 2050

Salinity modeling for the Mekong Delta in Vietnam (Source: MRC, 2010)

50 cm sea level rise

100 cm sea level rise

Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme

ASAP Goal Increased resilience of poor smallholder farmers to climate change ASAP Development Objective Multiple-benefit adaptation approaches with smallholders are scaled up and shared

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