9 Climate Smart Agriculture - Building Resilience to Climate Change

LAUNCH: Economics of Climate Smart Agriculture


  • Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nation (FAO)


The climate-smart agriculture (CSA) concept is gaining considerable traction at international and national levels to meet the challenges of addressing agricultural planning under climate change. CSA is a concept that calls for integration of the need for adaptation and the possibility of mitigation in agricultural growth strategies to support food security. Several countries around the world have expressed intent to adopt CSA approach to managing their agricultural sectors. However there is considerable confusion about what the CSA concept and approach actually involve, and wide variation in how the term is used. It is critical to build a more formal basis for the CSA concept and methodology and at the same time providing illustrations of how the concept can be applied across a range of conditions. To this end, a new book publication, entitled ‘Climate-Smart Agriculture – Building Resilience to Climate change’, which is co-published by the Springer and FAO, will be launched at the event. The book expand and formalize the conceptual foundations of CSA drawing upon theory and concepts from agricultural development, institutional and resource economics. The book is also devoted to a set of country level case studies illustrating the economic basis of CSA in terms of reducing vulnerability, increasing adaptive capacity and ex-post risk coping. It also addresses policy issues related to climate change focusing on the implications of the empirical findings for devising effective strategies and policies to support resilience and the implications for agriculture and climate change policy at national, regional and international levels. The publication will provide development agencies and practitioners, policymakers, civil society, research and academia as well as private sector with tested good practices and innovative approaches of promoting CSA system at country level.

Key speakers/presenters

  • Solomon Asfaw (FAO)
  • René Castro (ADG, FAO)
  • Leslie Lipper (Executive Director, ISPC-CGIAR)
  • Patrick Caron (Director, CIRAD)


The event launches the book “Climate Smart Agriculture: Building resilience to climate change” (published by Springer and FAO), which collects contributions from high profile academic professors, international organization experts, and researchers worldwide. The main objective of the book is to address the challenges of climate change for agricultural development. It aims to build a conceptual and an empirical foundation for climate smart agriculture (CSA). The speakers addressed several issues related to the role of CSA in economic and social development, the challenges and the trade-offs arising from its promotion, and policy implications related to its adoption.

In the wake of pressure arising from the growing global population, the main challenges are:: finding new instruments and technology to increase food production by reducing emissions; increasing the agriculture population resilience to extreme weather events. Eradicating poverty, ending hunger, and taking urgent action to combat the impacts of climate change are three objectives the global community has committed to achieving by 2030, through the adoption of the SDGs. The strategies implemented to address these challenges often face a trade-off between eradicating poverty and ensuring food security on one side, and reducing the emission and increasing resilience to the climate change on the other. 

Key outcomes/take away messages

CSA aims to address these challenges and, at the same time, resolve the trade-offs resulting from them. To do this, an intellectual framework needs to be developed to incorporate CSA into policymaker agendas. Creating synergies among international institutions, researchers and policy makers is mandatory to develop the capacity to orient policy interventions, taking into account local specificities. CSA is a general and flexible approach rather than a prescriptive strategy. There is no need to raise barriers between CSA and other approaches since they can co-exist and reinforce together. CSA entails many different policy options to build resilience to climate risk. These policy instruments are not only related to the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices but include social protection, micro-finance, input subsidies and information interventions.

Side Event - 9 - LAUNCH: Climate Smart Agriculture - Building Resilience to Climate Change