Tuesday, November 22, 2011

“Climate-Smart” Agriculture..

“Climate-Smart” Agriculture.
Policies, Practices and Financing for Food Security, Adaptation and Mitigation.
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations logo
Over the past six decades world agriculture has become considerably more efficient. 
Improvements in production systems and crop and livestock breeding programmes have resulted in a doubling of food production while increasing the amount of agricultural land by just 10 percent. However, climate change  is expected to exacerbate the  existing challenges faced by agriculture.The  purpose  of  this  paper  is  to  highlight  that  food security and climate change are closely linked in the agriculture sector and that key opportunities exist to transform the sector towards climate-smart systems that address both. 

Estimates  show  that world population will grow from the current 6.7 billion to 9 billion by 
2050 with most of the increase occurring in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Taking into 
account the changes in the composition and level of consumption associated with growing 
household incomes, FAO estimates that feeding the world population will require a 70 percent 
increase in total agricultural production2 (Bruinsma, 2009). 

Preserving and enhancing food security requires agricultural production systems to change 
in the direction of higher productivity and also, essentially, lower output variability in the face of 
climate risk and risks of an agro-ecological and socio-economic nature. In order to stabilize output and income, production systems must become more resilient, i.e. more capable of performing well in the face of disruptive events. More productive and resilient agriculture requires transformations in the management of natural resources (e.g. land, water, soil nutrients, and genetic resources) and higher  efficiency  in  the  use  of  these  resources  and inputs  for  production. Transitioning to such systems could also generate significant mitigation benefits by increasing carbon sinks, as well as reducing emissions per unit of agricultural product. 

Transformations are needed in both commercial and subsistence agricultural systems, but 
with  significant differences  in priorities  and  capacity.  In  commercial systems, increasing efficiency and reducing emissions, as well as other negative environmental impacts, are key concerns. In agriculture-based countries, where agriculture is critical for economic development (World Bank, 2008), transforming smallholder systems is not only important for  food  security  but  also  for poverty reduction, as well as for aggregate growth and structural change. In the latter group of countries, increasing productivity to achieve food security is clearly  a  priority,  which  is  projected to entail a significant increase in emissions from the agricultural sector in developing countries (IPCC 2007). Achieving the needed levels of growth, but on a lower emissions trajectory will require a concerted effort to maximize synergies and minimize tradeoffs between productivity and mitigation. Ensuring  that  institutions  and  incentives  are  in  place  to  achieve climate-smart transitions, as well as adequate financial resources, is thus essential to meeting these challenges. In this context mitigation finance can play a key function in leveraging other investments to support activities that generate synergies.
Read complete report by FAO here..http://www.fao.org/docrep/013/i1881e/i1881e00.pdf 

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