Climate Smart Agriculture Sourcebook


Side-by-side culture

Aquaculture production units such as ponds or cages adjacent to rice farming areas. Although rice and fish are spatially separate, there is usually some resource flow between the systems, e.g. water, mud etc.

Slash and burn

Slash and burn is a traditional form of agriculture practiced by small-scale farmers on around 20 percent of the tropical land area. Despite the short-term benefits obtained from its use (e.g. firewood, nutrients for crop development and reduced incidence of pests and diseases), it is recognized as an environmentally unfriendly practice that does not guarantee food security and exacerbates natural resource degradation and climate change.


Liquid manure. The terms refer to the manure that accumulates under the stable as well as that obtained as a by-product of biogas production. The slurry can be used as a form of organic fertilizer.


Soil is the thin layer of material (organic and inorganic) on the Earth’s surface. It is formed over long periods. It is made up of differing proportions of weathered rock, decayed plant and animal matter and a diversity of living plants, animals and microbes including fungi and bacteria. Due to differences in local geology, topography, climate, vegetation and human management, often over thousands of years, soils are highly variable, both across landscapes and in depth.

Soil pH

A soil pH level of 4 to 5 is very acidic, while a soil pH level from seven to nine is alkaline. Soil pH influences soil nutrient availability and biological activity. Soils that are more fertile usually have pH between 5.0 and 7.0. Acidity reduces bacterial activity and consequently the decomposition of organic matter and nutrient release. In addition, strongly alkaline soils have suppressed biological activity, and as a result, fewer nutrients are available for plants. Strongly alkaline soils are also at risk of soil organic matter decomposition, salinity, soil crusting and the accumulation of toxic levels of sodium and other minerals

Soil structure

Soil texture is the relative share of the different sizes of mineral particles (sand, silt and clay) which influences its water holding capacity and ability to retain and exchange nutrients.


Quantity of fish considered in a given situation (AQUALEX, 1998).


A group of organisms of the same species displaying certain differential traits based on parental lineage; that either come from the same area, e.g. the same catchment area of a river, or are the result of a particular breeding programme (exists as an interbreeding unit with no introductions from external sources) (AQUALEX, 1998).

Sustainable consumption and production

Sustainable consumption and production aims to reduce resource use and negative environmental impacts, while increasing the quality of life, thus doing “more and better with less”; it requires a systemic approach and cooperation among actors operating in food supply chains, involving engaging consumers through awareness-raising and education on sustainable consumption and lifestyles. (For more information see:

Sustainable crop production intensification

FAO approach to increasing crop production through practices and technologies that increase resource use efficiency and rely on natural biological processes and biodiversity.

Sustainable mechanization

Use of equipment that improve resource use and preservation, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and that at the same time contribute to competitive crop production.