How does climate change alter agricultural strategies to support food security?


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FAO-CGIAR/CCAFS Presentation delivered at the conference: “Food Security Futures:
Research Priorities for the 21st Century”, 11-12 April 2013, Dublin. It outlines the priority areas for CGIAR and FAO in relations to climate change and food security

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How does climate change alter agricultural strategies to support food security?

  1. 1. How does climate change alter agricultural strategies to support food security? Philip Thornton (CGIAR/CCAFS) and Leslie Lipper (FAO) With contributions from Stephen Baas, Andrea Cattaneo, Sabrina Chesterman, Kevern Cochrane, Cassandra de Young, Polly Ericksen, Jacob van Etten, Fabrice de Clerck, Boru Douthwaite, Ashley DuVal, Carlo Fadda, Tara Garnett, Pierre Gerber, Mark Howden, Wendy Mann, Nancy McCarthy, Reuben Sessa, Sonja Vermeulen, Joost Vervoort
  2. 2. Structure of the presentation • Threats of CC to agricultural production systems • Responses to CC • Making transitions happen • How to monitor and evaluate? • Conclusions: priority areas for CGIAR and FAO  Focus is on how CC changes our approach to agricultural transitions to support food security
  3. 3. 1 Threats of climate change to agricultural production systems
  4. 4. Threats of climate change to production systems: where are we going? Ed Hawkins, Possible reasons for apparent slowdown in warming rate? • Internal climate variability • Assumed radiative forcings may need adjustment • Climate simulators are too sensitive to greenhouse gases • Observational uncertainty  Trends are clear – much still to learn on the details Global heat balance : land effects, ocean effects
  5. 5. Average projected % change in suitability for 50 crops to 2055 Crop suitability is changing … Lane & Jarvis, SAT eJournal, 2007
  6. 6. 0º 20º -20º 0º 20º 40º Climate-induced livelihood transitions may well result Areas where cropping of an indicator cereal may become unviable between now and the 2050s -- where farmers may have to rely more on livestock as a livelihood strategy? Jones & Thornton (2009)
  7. 7. To 2090, ensemble mean of 14 climate models Thornton et al. (2010) >20% loss 5-20% loss No change 5-20% gain >20% gain Length of growing period (%) African agriculture in a +4°C world
  8. 8. Impacts of changes in climate variability? Does it depend on scale? • At household level: may be catastrophic • At more aggregated levels: persistence of effects? E.g. land-use changes, regional livestock herd losses due to drought • Aggregation hiding substantial spatial heterogeneity • Equilibrium models versus dynamic approaches What’s the evidence base? Very poor – e.g. • IPCC (2007) – “effects of climate variability may be as great as changes in climate means” • SREX (2012) – 1 page (in 600) on impacts of climate extremes on food systems and food security
  9. 9. 2 Responses to climate change
  10. 10. Smallholders’ response to climate change Technologies and practices to increase resilience of agricultural systems: • Soil and nutrient management (e.g. composts, crop residues) • Improving water harvesting and retention (e.g. dams, pits, retaining ridges) • Understanding and dealing with changes in distribution / intensity of weeds, pests, diseases • Utilising different crops, breeds, wild relatives • Efficient harvesting to reduce post-harvest losses • Planting date management • Use of agroforestry species (soil benefits, dry season livestock fodder, income generation, carbon sequestering, …)
  11. 11. Smallholders’ response to climate change Diversification Livestock only Livestock + irrigated ag + business Livestock + irrigated ag OR business Thornton et al. (2012) Results for a Group Ranch in Kajiado, Kenya
  12. 12. Smallholders’ response to climate change “No regrets” technologies Adapted from Howden et al. (2010) Degree of Climate Change “Complexity”ofresponding COPING • Planting dates • Other varieties • Water management ADAPTATION • New crops • New livestock species • Off-farm diversification TRANSFORMATION • New production system • New livelihoods • Move location • Migration Limits to “no regrets” at the farm level  Barriers, cost, need for collective action and/or policy formulation (e.g. infrastructure development)
  13. 13. Enabling farmers to act on seasonal forecast information • Improving forecast products for farmers • Kaffrine, Senegal: workshops to train farmers, identifying management responses • Wote, Kenya: testing combinations of advisories, training, delivery medium • Assessing impact on decisions, livelihoods Risk management
  14. 14. 3 Making transitions happen
  15. 15. Developing & promoting agricultural technologies o Urgency of developing/disseminating technologies embodying adaptation/mitigation while supporting ag. transitions for food security o Greater emphasis on innovation an evolutionary-like process driven by ‘learning selection’ analogous to ‘natural selection’ (Douthwaite, 2002) o Changes to how we assess best options
  16. 16. 20,000+ maize trials in 123 research sites Sites with >23ºC would suffer even if optimally managed More than 20% loss in sites with >20ºC, under drought Lobell et al. (2011) Maize in Africa …
  17. 17. Building networks of innovation: Disseminating & selecting seeds of crops & varieties adapted to climate change Seed supply for adapted crops is limited; ICRISAT experimenting with private sector seed suppliers to increase supply Farmer testing 3 wheat varieties as part of Bioversity Seed4Needs crowdsourcing crop improvement for adaptation
  18. 18. Assessing best options for agricultural intensification: adaptation is an essential element • Results from Zambia analysis of HH data 2004-2008 • Question- what are the barriers/drivers of adoption of sustainable land management? • Two practices focused upon: minimum soil disturbance (planting basins); crop rotations Results: – Adoption remains very low: ~5-6% (sample size 4,187) – Significant dis-adoption: ~90% of CA adopters in 2004 abandoned it in 2008 – Adoption intensity is significantly higher for smallholders Strongest determinants of adoption are: – variable rainfall – Delayed onset of rainy season adaptation benefits key to determining “best options”
  19. 19. Assessing best options for ag. intensification: mitigation co-benefits also important Synthesis of literature comparing yield and soil carbon sequestration effects of adopting sustainable land management practices in dry and moist areas 0100200300 Dry 0 100 200 300 Agronomy Nutrientmanagement Tillage/residuemanagement Water management Agroforestry Moist Yield: average marginal increase (%/year) GHG reduction(tCO2e/ha/year) (graph 1ton=100%)
  20. 20. Strengthening local institutions: e.g. how to improve the enabling environment? • Local institutions (formal & informal) are “enablers” • Three main areas where CC affects what we need to see from local institutions for enabling environments • Information dissemination (CC destroys info) • Risk management (CC increases risks) • Collective action (CC changes scale; intensifies need)
  21. 21. Information dissemination: priority actions – Seasonal forecasts: Extended coverage, better “translation, and prompt linking of seasonal forecast info to key outlets (youth, extension, women’s groups, etc.) – Extension: More attention/financing/innovation in extension role in information dissemination to support ag. technology and use of ICT – Crowd sourcing to improve data sources (e.g. IIASA global cropland map) – Enhancing farmer to farmer information flows particularly in context of adaptation (e.g. varietal adaptation; indigenous practices)
  22. 22. Local institutions facilitate risk management in a number of ways: we need to identify best options under CC & strengthen Risk transfer category Adaptation strategies Institution-building opportunities at the local level Institution-building opportunities at higher levels Mobility  Agropastoral, wage labour or involuntary migration  Distribution & trade of ag produce & inputs  Conflict mgmt e.g. croppers vs. pastoralists  Functioning of local informal markets  Support to local exit strategies  Residence & border controls  Safe & fair transfers of remittances  International trade controls & tariffs Storage  Water storage  Food storage  Natural capital including livestock & trees  Pest control  Participatory action research  Local tenure & entitlements  Access to information  Incentives for affordable private sector innovation  Knowledge systems for pests & diseases  Food safety interventions Diversification  Diversification of agricultural assets, including crop & livestock varieties, production technologies  Occupational diversification & skills training  Dietary & other consumption choices  Farmer field schools & other locally-led innovation systems  Microfinance  Local business development  Household food management  Local future climate scenarios exercises  Public and private extension services  Accessible banking & loan schemes  Skills retraining linked to job creation  Consumer food knowledge & preferences
  23. 23. Collective action Collective action underpins: • Information dissemination • Risk management • Managing pooled resources (agro-forestry, changes in grazing/irrigation management, landscape level work) • Spreading innovations (social capital important determinant of production and marketing decisions) • Accessing financing (high transactions costs barrier to entry) Priority actions:  Identifying how cc changes type and scale collective actions needed  Broader understanding of multiple roles (risk mgmt, info sharing, access to resources) local institutions currently play  Explicit integration of collective action needs in agricultural transition planning
  24. 24. Coordinated and informed policies • Policies that integrate CC and Ag for FS needed to achieve coordinated & effective actions • Contradictions between policy “silos” a problem • Promoting dialogue, joint positions (e.g. to UNFCCC) and national integrated strategies between CC, Ag and FS policy-makers needed • Tools for integrated planning useful to underpin needed dialogues (e.g. integrated land use planning, landscape) • Clarity/direction from policy-makers on key directions for change also needed (e.g. food self-sufficiency vs. trade, future of smallholders, rate/nature of urbanization/commercialization)
  25. 25. Participatory scenario building: a means of facilitating dialogue between policy and research Scenarios: what can happen Visioning: what should happen Uncertain future Create shared vision for regional Future (3) Different perspectives: different types of knowledge, experience Scenarios capture alternative Futures (1) Improve scenarios’ usefulness through Different perspectives: different needs, aspirations Use scenarios to explore pathways to Feasible vision, robust policies and quantification and media (2) Improve scenarios based on use (5) vision under strategies (4) uncertainty (4) Dissemination of scenarios, visions, strategies to key users (6) Figure 2. CCAFS scenarios strategy.
  26. 26. Global Scenarios Regional Scenarios Farmer/village perspectives Action research Participatory scenario building Global visioning activities Global impacts modelling Regional impacts modelling Household & community impacts modelling Assessing different options at different levels Robustness, iteration
  27. 27. Increased access to financing • Overall investment resources for agriculture insufficient • Need for not just more, but better targeting and delivery mechanisms are needed • CC increases imperative of increased short run financing to achieve long term savings • Access to emerging sources of CC finance clearly important part of the solution • Need for country-driven responses to how this can best be linked to agricultural transitions for food security
  28. 28. Climate smart agricultural investments often require higher up-front financing to overcome barriers to adoption
  29. 29. 4 How to monitor and evaluate?
  30. 30. Increasing the outcome orientation of research … FAO Strategic Objectives • Contribute to the eradication of hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition • Increase and improve provision of goods and services from agriculture, forestry and fisheries in a sustainable manner • Reduce rural poverty • Enable more inclusive and efficient agricultural and food systems at local, national and international levels • Increase the resilience of livelihoods to threats and crises CGIAR System-Level Outcomes • Reduce rural poverty • Increase food security • Improve nutrition and health • Ensure more sustainable management of natural resources
  31. 31. Analysing food security in context of drivers and feedbacks Ericksen (2008) Food System ACTIVITIES Producing Processing & Packaging Distributing & Retailing Consuming Food System OUTCOMES Contributing to: Food Security, Environmental Security, and other Societal Interests Food Availability Food Utilisation Food Access Environ Capital Social Welfare Socioeconomic DRIVERS Changes in: Demographics, Economics, Socio-political context, Cultural context Science & Technology DRIVERS’ Interactions GEC DRIVERS Changes in: Land cover & soils, Atmospheric Comp., Climate variability & means, Water availability & quality, Nutrient availability & cycling, Biodiversity, Sea currents & salinity, Sea level ‘Natural’ DRIVERS e.g. Volcanoes Solar cycles Environmental feedbacks e.g. water quality, GHGs Socioeconomic feedbacks e.g. livelihoods, social cohesion
  32. 32. Key food system objective Strategies to achieve this Process indicator Outcome indicator Impact indicator Enhance nutritional value More nutritious food grown Farmers’ crop choices change Foods with greater nutritional value harvested Diets contain more nutritious foods Price of nutritious food reduced Pricing policies implemented. Households purchase more nutritious food Diets contain more nutritious foods More efficient use of scare resources Revise input prices Pricing policies implemented Fertilizers use modified Less fertilizer waste Implement land tenure Tenure policies designed and implemented Land tenure more secure Land used more efficiently Some food system adaptation metrics Ericksen and Chesterman (2013)
  33. 33. Outcome indicators: how does CC affect what we’d like to see? Risk-adjusted returns to agricultural systems  Do we have robust estimates of changes in climate variability into the future?  Do we have adequate data and information on tropical farming systems (like the Farm Accounting Data Network of the EU)?  Do we have adequate decision-analytic frameworks for smallholder farming households in developing countries? IPCC (2012)
  34. 34. Outcome indicators: how does CC affect what we’d like to see? Greenhouse gas emissions per unit of agricultural output  Do we have standardised methodologies, to help reduce the uncertainties inherent in such estimates?  Do we have adequate tools that can assess the trade-offs and synergies between agricultural activities (e.g. payments for reduced deforestation; mitigation co-benefits)?  Do we always understand who is bearing the costs and the benefits of different alternatives, and are these distributed in accordance with government policy objectives?
  35. 35. Outcome indicators: how does CC affect what we’d like to see? Identifying potential maladaptation well in advance  If adaptation is seen as a continuous process, do we have in place adequate monitoring systems to allow us to spot divergences in good time?  Do we have adequate adaptation planning frameworks that are relatively insensitive to uncertainties? Maladaptation: options that • disproportionately burden the most vulnerable • have high opportunity costs • reduce people’s incentives to adapt • set paths that limit future choices available to future generation Barnett & O’Neill (2010)
  36. 36. Outcome indicators: how does CC affect what we’d like to see? Changes in short-term food insecurity in the wake of climate shocks  Do we have robust and efficient ways of identifying food-insecure people and their targetable characteristics, particularly in the light of increased variability? FAO (2012) Food security relative to the poverty threshold
  37. 37. 5 Conclusions: priority areas for CGIAR and FAO
  38. 38. How can FAO and CGIAR effectively contribute to the agenda? 1 Enhanced understanding of how climate change may affect agriculture - Key input to global climate/food security models • Impacts on key staples and other crops and natural resources in developing countries • Interactions of changes in temperature, rainfall, atmospheric CO2 • Changes in incidence, intensity, spatial distribution of weeds, pests, diseases • Impacts on households of climate variability changes vis-à-vis changes in long-term means • Impact on agricultural technology/intensification patterns  Links to Global Change Community: climate, sustainability sciences
  39. 39. 2 Evaluating options • Understanding the role of assets (physical, human, social) and collective action in managing climate risks, adaptation and mitigation • Assessing mitigation practices in different situations and impacts on resource use and commodity supply • Standardizing/simplifying Measuring/Reporting/Verification (MRV) and carbon footprinting methodologies for mitigation projects • Tools/frameworks/data that allow evaluation with respect to multiple objectives, multiple temporal and spatial scales How can FAO and CGIAR effectively contribute to the agenda?
  40. 40. 3 Promoting innovation and linking knowledge with action • Tools/analysis to identify, foster and effectively scale up successful innovation: social, institutional, technological • Extend social learning approaches critically relevant to achieving development goals: building on existing efforts and assessing results to build a commonly accessible evidence base • Develop capacity and use of multi-stakeholder scenario processes • explore key socio-economic uncertainties • develop storylines of plausible futures • quantitatively model these alternative development pathways  a linked science-policy interface  inputs to global climate/food security models. How can FAO and CGIAR effectively contribute to the agenda?
  41. 41.