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Global E-Discussion Unlocks Potential of Climate-Smart Agriculture

'A farmer harvests sorghum.' Source: Fred Noy, UN Photo

‘A farmer harvests sorghum.’ Source: Fred Noy, UN Photo

Brasília, March 27, 2013 – The International Policy Center for Inclusive Growth hosted a 10-day E-discussion between February 10th and March 4th on the topic of climate-smart agriculture (CSA) with support from the UK Department for International Development. The discussion attempted to address the key tensions that exist at the intersection of climate change and agriculture in Africa, particularly emphasizing ‘climate-smart’ solutions. In so doing, the e-discussion yielded critical information from a portfolio of sources as well as strategies for improving CSA. The e-discussion also afforded the opportunity for diverse actors involved in climate change and agriculture across the world to engage in debate through an innovative online platform: a Google Groups.

Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) is an approach to farming that aspires to support smallholders through risk-averse and environmentally sensitive agricultural practices. As the world is experiencing increasingly erratic weather patterns due to a changing global climate, efforts to enhance agricultural resilience are of critical importance. Investing in knowledge for smallholders may not only inform debates on social protection but may also improve the knowledge base for food security and climate change adaptations.

A follow-up to  a seminar on the Role of South-South Cooperation in Agricultural Development in Africa’ held in Brasilia on 17 May 2012,  the e-discussion aimed to continue in this vein of policy and research related to knowledge innovation around sustainable agriculture and climate change. The e-discussion involved more than 60 participants from a range of institutions with differing professional and academic backgrounds, such as federal government representatives and farmers. It facilitated greater engagement and discourse between civil society actors on South-South Cooperation. Participants were also afforded the opportunity to offer practical and hands-on experiences to complement the more theoretical discussion.

The e-discussion sought to inform ongoing debates on CSA while recognizing the particular relevance for Brazil-Africa agricultural cooperation. In particular, the discussion set out to “deepen the conversation with civil society and organizations that represent small farmers, as well as individuals researching small farmer issues.” As such, the debate was structured around the following three objectives:

  • Objective 1: To understand the value of climate-smart agriculture for smallholder farming 
  • Objective 2: To serve as a platform for knowledge sharing on climate-smart agricultural innovations in the South
  • Objective 3: To promote a gendered approach to climate-smart agriculture.

The resulting knowledge product, entitled Climate Smart Agriculture in Africa, is a report that provides a broad based overview of CSA policies as well as nuanced and practical examples from the field. It highlights areas of contention as well as consensus with respect to best practices and key challenges. Compellingly, original case studies as well as newly available literature are identified.

The DFID and the IPC-IG in Brazil aspire to continue cultivating a meaningful dialogue related to adaptation and initiatives for climate change. Stay tuned for a separate evidence paper on Climate Smart Agriculture that will be made available in the near future by the IPC-IG. The e-discussion served as an innovative avenue of knowledge cooperation that will inform the evolution of climate smart agriculture policy and practice in Africa and beyond.

Summaries in English and Portuguese are now available on the IPC-IG website.

Source: IPC 819 and IPC 812, DFID 

Take a closer look at research on food security, climate change and inclusive growth through the following IPC-IG publications:

Market Alternatives for Smallholder Farmers in Food Security Initiatives: Lessons from the Brazilian Good Acquisition Programme

Public Support to Food Security in India, Brazil and South Africa: Elements for a Policy Dialogue

Providing Incentives to Women Farmers for Sustainable Food Production

Food Security Policy Context in Brazil

Integrating Public Works and Cash Transfers in Ethiopia: Implications for Social Protection, Employment and Decent Work


Short URL: http://pressroom.ipc-undp.org/?p=14125

Posted by on Mar 27 2013. Filed under Events, Featured News, Inclusive Growth around the world, News, Online Discussion, Rural & Sustainable Development, Slider, Social Protection, South-South Dialogue. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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