Agriculture

© FAO/19655/G. BizzarriAgriculture is a source of climate change but also a solution to climate change if adequate sustainable production measures are adopted that hold substantial mitigation potential, and that contribute to adapt agriculture and food production systems to extreme events, raising temperatures, and increasing CO2 concentration. 

To adapt to climate change farmers will need to broaden their crop genetic base and use new cultivars and crop varieties. They will need to adopt sustainable agronomic practices such as shift in sowing/planting dates, use of cover crop, live mulch and efficient management of irrigation and reduce the vulnerability of soil based agricultural production systems through the management of soil fertility, reduced tillage practices and management of the cycle of soil organic carbon more efficiently in grasslands and cropping systems. There will be a need to monitor pathogens, vectors and pests and assessing how well natural population control is working.

Activities

  • FAO assists member countries to create opportunities that enable farmers to benefit from climate change adaptation and to contribute to mitigation by empowering land users to make decisions on better practices to preserve their agroecosystems. This includes technology transfer, capacity building and policy advice.
  • FAO continues to develop specific projects, contributes to developing and collecting unique datasets promoting adaptation and mitigation practices, and provides a forum for technical discussions and policy advice related to adaptation and mitigation practices in crop land and grassland.

Publications

“Climate-Smart” Agriculture 1 December 2010 This paper examines some of the key technical, institutional, policy and financial responses required to achieve climate-smart agriculture which sustainably increases productivity, resilience (adaptation), reduces/removes Greenhouse Gases (mitigation), and enhances achievement of national food security and development goals. Building on case studies from the field, the paper outlines a range of practices, approaches and tools aimed at increasing the resilience and productivity of agricultural production systems, while also reducing and removing emissions. The second part of the paper surveys institutional and policy options available to promote the transition to climate‐smart agriculture at the smallholder level. Finally, the paper considers current financing gaps and makes innovative suggestions regarding the combined use of different sources, financing mechanisms and delivery systems. Three-fourths of the world’s 1.2 billion poor live and work in rural areas; they directly depend on land, water and genetic resources, and the vagaries of climate, for their livelihoods. Their vulnerability and food security situation is expected toworsen under climate change. For instance, it has been suggested that increased climate variability and more frequent extreme events such as droughts and floodscould significantly increase risk of production failures in poor regions as early as the coming decades, i.e., by 2020–2030. [more]
Integrated Crop Management Vol. 9 - 2010 - Challenges and opportunities for carbon sequestration in grassland systems 22 October 2010 With increasing global temperatures, rising sea levels and more frequent and intense extreme weather events, Pacific islands countries, especially those in warmer latitudes, are the most vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change.Their populations are expected to be among the first that will need to adapt to climate change or even abandon their traditional homeland and relocate. Practices that sequester carbon in grasslands can enhance productivity, and policies designed to encourage these practices could lead to near-term dividends in greater forage production and enhanced producer incomes. This report reviews the current status of opportunities and challenges for grassland carbon sequestration and identifies components that could foster the inclusion of grasslands in future climate agreements to enhance longer term adaptation to climate variability. It includes a policy brief to assist policy-makers in their development plans. [more]
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last updated:  Wednesday, December 5, 2012