Site internet du Guide de référence de l'agriculture intelligente face au climat

Climate-smart crop production

Production et ressources


This module looks at the interrelations between crop production and climate change (Chapter B1-1). It presents the principles, practices and technologies for the sustainable and profitable production of annual and perennial crops to meet food, feed, energy, fibre needs and foster economic growth in a world where the global population is expanding, the climate is changing, dietary patterns are evolving and natural resources are growing scarce. These issues are presented both in terms of the projected impacts of climate change (Chapter B1-2) and crop systems (Chapter B1-3). The module also describes the off-farm elements that can enable farmers to adopt climate-smart crop production practices (Chapter B1-4).

A fundamental challenge is to address the needs of broad and diverse groups of stakeholders by identifying an appropriate set of climate-smart practices. This requires knowledge of the type and extent of expected changes in the climatic variables that affect crop production; the trade-offs and synergies between local climate and international markets; and the best adaptive management options for a given context.

This module does not provide a rigid blueprint for action. There is no standard formula that can be applied for every context. The shift towards climate-smart crop production systems will depend on a range of coping and adaptive mechanisms. These mechanisms will need to accommodate local, regional and global conditions, and may differ greatly from one farmer to another. 

This module offers solutions that can be adapted to different crop systems. It addresses the subject matter from a technical perspective, but is written for the general public. In some cases, definitions for technical terms are provided. 

Key messages

  • The effective management of agricultural ecosystems contributes to both climate change adaptation and climate change mitigation. It is critical for the sustainable intensification of crop production.
  • In rural, urban and peri-urban environments, approaches for the sustainable intensification of crop production that can support climate change adaptation and mitigation include: 
    • the use of quality seeds and planting materials of well-adapted varieties;
    • the cultivation of a diverse suite of crop species and varieties in associations and/or rotations;
    • the use of integrated pest management practices;
    • the implementation of conservation agriculture and the adoption of sustainable mechanization to maintain healthy soils and manage water efficiently.
  • Adaptation and adoption of climate-smart crop production practices and technologies requires knowledge of the type and extent of change in the climatic variables that affect crop production; integrated research on crop, soil and water; and the participation of farmers that needs to be promoted through system-wide activities to develop capacities.