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Farming's climate-smart future: Placing agriculture at the heart of climate change policy

Farming's climate smart future

By Charlie Pye-Smith
Published by CTA
Website: www.cta.int
2011, 36pp, ISSN 2212 6333, free to download

With agriculture accounting for 20 per cent of GDP in developing countries and providing jobs for 65 per cent of the population, the impacts of increasing temperatures, changing patterns of rainfall and shifting distribution of pests and diseases extend far beyond the supply of food. Using concrete examples of successful climate-smart agricultural practices, Farming's climate-smart future outlines opportunities for agriculture to contribute to efforts to adapt to and mitigate climate change.

Conservation agriculture in Zambia, agroforestry in Nigeria, alternate wetting and drying in the Philippines, index-based livestock insurance in Kenya and a biogas project in China are just a few climate-smart agriculture practices outlined in the book. "There is no blueprint for climate-smart agriculture, and its precise nature will vary from place to place, influenced by a whole host of local factors, including the climate, the crops grown, the livestock reared, available technologies and the knowledge and skills of individual farmers," the authors state.

Farming's climate-smart future argues that to realise the potential of climate-smart agriculture, international climate change negotiations must lead to policies that create incentives for farmers, help finance projects and fund continued agricultural research. "The creation of a work programme [under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change] would put agriculture at the heart of climate change negotiations and policy-making, ensuring that it makes a full contribution to both adaptation and mitigation without prejudicing food production and poverty alleviation," the book concludes. "A work programme would also ensure that agriculture has full access to climate change finance."

Date published: February 2012

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