Climate change and agriculture - what do we need to do differently?


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Presentation made to the AGM of Global Donor Platform for Rural Development, the Hague 31 January 2013. Tries to unpick the question of how food systems need to change to adapt to climate change and reduce emissions.

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  • All this matters for ‘climate-smartness’ of policies and investments Often false dichotomies/trade-offs, although unfortunately trade-off mentality still makes policymakers assume they have to choose between feeding population/growth and the environment The 50% Some projects create surplus/buffer capacities (e.g. rainwater harvesting, grain banks, village savings schemes) Some projects strengthen the efficiency and effectiveness of natural resource use (e.g. IWRM, ICZM, renewable energy) Some projects diversify livelihood options (e.g. access to new value chains, supporting off-farm employment) Some projects restore natural protective systems (e.g. coastal greenbelts, watersheds, wetlands, coral reefs, coastal dunes, etc) Some projects increase the ability of institutions to work with new or different sources of information (technologies, maps, etc.) The white 50% any value chain projects focus on financial benefits, but forget about climate effects on productivity, storage, processing, access to markets, etc. Some infrastructure projects do not take potential exposure to climate-related hazards into account (e.g. hydropower, coastal dev.) Some projects provide incentives for people to settle in hazardous areas Some projects perpetuate sub-optimal natural resource use (e.g. over-use of forests and water, over-fishing, etc.) Some projects impact negatively on natural protective systems (e.g. forests, coastal belts, coral reefs) Some projects lock people into technical or financial dependencies
  • (IMAGE: WATERING SEEDLINGS FOR AGROFORESTRY IN BURKINA FASO) SMALLHOLDER FARMERS CANNOT AFFORD to separate agricultural production and natural resources management. There is growing evidence of the LIMITS OF THE GREEN REVOLUTION, which placed emphasis on production at the expense of long-term sustainability. As a result, input-intensive agricultural technologies are falling prey to the law of diminishing returns. In many regions, agricultural productivity growth has stagnated. There is tremendous potential to SCALE UP AN EXISTING TOOLKIT OF LOCALLY ADAPTED, SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURAL APPROACHES, that enable multiple wins for production, poverty reduction and the environment, including a variety of approaches to conservation agriculture, integrated soil nutrient management, integrated pest management, agroforestry, and integrated water resources management. EXAMPLES Participatory tree domestication grant in Wets and Central Africa (ICRAF): conservation of locally adapted agrobiodiversity, livelihood diversification, reduced deforestation and forest degradation. IFAD STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES (PORTFOLIO REVIEW) Success area: potential for scaling up. (this is where we really can increase impact) ENRM often seen as apart from IFAD’s core mandate – lack of landscape-level analysis. Limited understanding of the opportunities and constraints for scaling up.
  • Trying to rehabilitate degraded (alfa grass) which are key to functioning of arid landscape – rotational grazing, reseeding, plantation of atriplex, fencing [rangeland user associations!] Rangeland management in Morocco Fragile ecosystems where inhabitants are often compelled to degrade their natural resources and struggle for survival. Degradation due to changing rangeland management practices because of increase number livestock and shifting mobility patterns, increase in cereal cultures and plus decrease in rainfall. A striking example is the Livestock and Pasture Development Project in the Eastern Region in Morocco. It has introduced efficient natural-resource management systems such as rotation and land-resting schemes, reseeding of native herbaceous species and planting of fodder shrubs to increase production and incomes while improving rangeland. Self-organized range users’ associations were formed by the pastoralists, water points constructed, livestock support services strengthened and training and credit for herders provided. Every project beneficiary became a member of one of the range users’ associations, made up of homogeneous groups that collectively manage a common pasture land.
  • Refer to ASAP brochure – list of examples Broadcasting urea is a highly inefficient application method because most of the nitrogen is lost to the air and water. Only one bag of urea in three is used by the plants. Urea Deep Placement (UDP) technology improves nitrogen use efficiency by keeping most of the urea nitrogen in the soil close to the rice roots and out of the floodwater, where it is more susceptible to loss as gaseous compounds or runoff. The technology not only improves farmer income, but creates employment because of the need for the briquettes. Ten Bangladeshi manufacturers have produced and sold 2,000 briquette-making machines.
  • Grass burning on the increase to keep livestock away Magnifying existing risks Proposing transhumant corridors with water points plus sensitization of both farmers and livestock
  • The Gambia: Long-term land- and water-tenure security – a key to sustainable use Since the Sahelian drought in the mid-1970s, reduced rainfall has resulted in various forms of land degradation in the lowlands, leading farmers to abandon lowland rice fields. Problems include: (i) sea water intrusion into formerly productive rice fields; (ii) water shortage in upland valleys (part of the lowlands) and flood plains; (iii) Increase in demand for rice - Because of conflicts in the region, there had been an influx of migration into Gambia from neighbouring countries. LADEP project had a role as a catalyst in the devolution of individually owned land to the community, and in the redistribution and equitable sharing of new communal land among individuals, mainly women, participating in land reclamation works. The reclaimed land is now divided into equal plots and is allocated by community agreement to individual beneficiaries, irrespective of lineage. Women beneficiaries now have permanent ownership of land , and their children will inherit ownership of the land. Maintenance and cropping intensity of allocated plots have increased. Sustainable community-driven reclamation and development of lowland areas have improved traditional rice production, using simple technologies and self-help labour.
  • Results: analysis - overall, SRI, IPM; emulation - conservation agriculture, agroforestry For example, agroforestry is now practised on between 12.5-25% of total agricultural land worldwide. Brazil currently practices minimum-tillage for about 60% of its cultivatable area. Conservation agriculture is used in about 100 million hectares worldwide (about 8 per cent of arable land). Current trade in organic food, drinks and cotton amounts to about US$ 60 billion a year. India, Indonesia, and Philippines have removed insecticide subsidies and reduced insecticide use nationally by 50 -75 percent, while rice production continued to increase annually. From IFAD’s newly launched Rural Poverty Report (p.159) The broadest assessment of sustainable agricultural approaches in developing countries to date is based on a study of 286 initiatives in 57 poor countries, covering 12.6 million farms on 37 million hectares. According to this study, virtually all these initiatives have increased productivity, while improving the supply of critical environmental services. Out of 198 sampled yield comparisons, the mean yield increase over four years was 79 per cent; all crops showed water-use efficiency gains; the practices sequestered carbon; and most of those projects with data substantially reduced pesticide use while increasing yields. They typically maintain healthy and diverse landscapes with maintained groundcover, diverse production systems and healthy soil that can retain moisture. They are already being successfully scaled up. For example, Brazil currently practices zero-till for about 40% of its cultivatable area, and has almost eliminated the use of inorganic nitrogen fertilizer in its soy production [FAO doc]. Agroforestry is used in greater than 10 million square kilometres worldwide (about 10 per cent of total arable land). Conservation agriculture is used in about 1 million square kilometres worldwide (about 8 per cent of arable land). Current trade in organic food, drinks and cotton amounts to about US$ 60 billion a year. From IFAD’s newly launched Rural Poverty Report (p.159) Pretty (2006): 286 initiatives, 57 countries – 79% yield increase; water-use efficiency gains; emissions; pesticides The broadest assessment of sustainable agricultural approaches in developing countries to date is based on a study of 286 initiatives in 57 poor countries, covering 12.6 million farms on 37 million hectares. According to this study, virtually all these initiatives have increased productivity, while improving the supply of critical environmental services. Out of 198 sampled yield comparisons, the mean yield increase over four years was 79 per cent; all crops showed water-use efficiency gains; the practices sequestered carbon; and most of those projects with data substantially reduced pesticide use while increasing yields. See See p.144 Rural Poverty Report Chapter 5 Pretty, J., A. D. Noble, D. Bossio, J. Dixon, R.E. Hine, F.W.T. Penning de Vries, and J.I.L. Morison. 2006. Resource-conserving agriculture increases yields in developing countries. Environment Science and Technology 40(4):1114-1119. India 1994-2002 food grain incr 20% while volume pesticide decree 35%]. The International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) Although some varieties respond better than others to SRI methods, it is claimed that increased yield is achieved with 80 to 90 per cent reductions in seed requirements and 25 to 50 per cent less irrigation water. Supporters of SRI report other benefits – resistance to pests and diseases, resistance to drought and storm damage, less pollution of soil and water resources, and reduced methane emissions. The benefits of SRI have now been documented in more than 40 countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. In Cambodia, more than 80,000 families now use SRI practices, which are reported as leading to a doubling of rice yields, substantial reductions in the use of fertilizers and agrochemicals, and increases in farm profits of 300 per cent. Governments in the largest rice producing countries (China, India and Indonesia) are now supporting SRI extension and committed to significant expansion of SRI rice.
  • Multiple win efficient – low opportunity costs compared to e.g. CCS, forestry New efforts to measure Carbon markets Getting the best deal for smallholders while being realistic on timing and avoiding confusing multiple-win message Public funds Small share getting to smallholder farmers Sometimes loses out when mediated through environment ministries High fund transaction costs and lack of predictability risk encouraging disintegration rather than integration Scope to shape existing agricultural support and subsidies
  • Magnifying traditional risks – technology approach (IMAGE: CONSTRUCTING ROAD IN BANGLADESH) Smallholder farmers rely directly on natural assets , including productive soil, clean and sufficient freshwater, stable and benign weather, pollination, nutrient cycling, pest control and a range of other ecosystem services. The rural poor are highly vulnerable to socioeconomic and environmental shocks. To enhance their resilience , IFAD must step up its efforts in knowledge and information services, disaster risk reduction, locally adapted and robust production systems, and safety nets. EXAMPLES: Early-warning systems in Ethiopia Weather-index based insurance in China Climate-resilient infrastructure, such as submersible roads in Bangladesh and cyclon-proof roads in Madagascar. IFAD STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES (PORTFOLIO REVIEW) Increasing piloting and product development in this area. Need for stronger upstream analysis (e.g. SEA in COSOP) to identify environmental risks. RELATED TO CLIMATE CHANGE STRATEGY PURPOSE (“Helping smallholders build their resilience to CC’’)
  • 30% rice production 12% of MD taken out by 2050 Number of days above 30 degrees increasing Sea level rise Salt water intrusion bc of sea level rise and also decreasing seasonal river flow (intrusion up river) Losing battle – sea dykes – cost – alternative – broaden outlook: what’s possible in changing system – some areas for rice, but what are alternatives – adaptive capacity – rice to rice and shrimp, then to aquaculture
  • Climate change and agriculture - what do we need to do differently?

    1. Climate-Smart SmallholderAgriculture – Old Wine in NewBottles?Elwyn Grainger-Jones,
    2. Old wine, new bottles?
    3. 1. Scale up sustainableintensification
    4. Agroforestry – Burkina Faso
    5. Biogas - EritreaSaves fuelwood, capturesmethane. Provides organicfertilizer and energy/light, smoke-free cooking
    6. Rangeland management in Morocco
    7. Urea Deep Placement (UDP)Can increase yields by 25% whileusing less than 50% as much urea 7
    8. Togo - transhumant pastoralism on therise due to Sahel drought/crisis – increasedsmallholder challenges
    9. Gambia – land and water managementLand and water management – The Gambia
    10. Some ‘old’ (agronomic) wine…FEATURE PRIMARY MULTIPLE•Maximum use of IMPACT BENEFITSnatural processes + •Maintained •Yieldsecosystems and enhanced•Less external •Profit groundcoverinorganic inputs & •Local •Healthy soilwaste that can retain pollution•Diversity + nutrients & And some..proportionality of moisture •Resilienceproduction •Enhanced •Emissions•Mixture of biodiversitytraditional & newtechnologies
    11. Context: Green revolution paradigm being replaced with…?• Uniformity vs heterogeneity• New tech vs systems• Vertical/crops vs horizontal/landscapes• Short-term vs long-term• GM vs organics• Limitless vs limited planetary resources
    12. 2. Add climate dimensions
    13. So, what’s new?1. Greater attention to the assessment and management of climate risks2. A focus on long-term development scenarios3. Greater attention to developing the capabilities of local institutions to deal with uncertainty, change and surprises4. Thinking about emissions too5. Measuring adaptation and mitigation impacts
    14. 1. Management of climate risks - understanding whatclimate shocks and stresses mean for farmersClimate shocks: climate extremes, extreme weather events:Rapid onset event e.g. floods, storms, wave surges, rainfall-inducedlandslides, hailstorms, frost, forest/scrub firesSlow onset events e.g. agricultural/meteorological/hydrologicaldrought, heat waves Some shocks are biologically induced but compounded by climaticfactors - e.g. pest infestations, water- borne or vector-borne diseases. Climate stresses: Persistent occurrence of lower-intensitydamaging events - e.g. soil erosion, degradation of coastalecosystems, salinization of soils & groundwater, glacial melt, soilevaporation, ocean acidification, species migration, sea level rise)
    15. Patterns of risk are changing • Coping cannot be maintained with historic experience / traditional knowledge alone • Losses and damages in livelihood systems increase and become more unpredictableClimatic variations (e.g. rainfall) Time Note the difference between weather (short-term variability) and climate (long-term trend!)
    16. 0 An nuAdapted from a Ele l crCSIRO (Roth, 2010) 10 cti ops W on ho c le ycle Pla far s nt m / pr o 20 To br p f uri ee lann it & l Tr sm d ee i in os s Ge cro v y de n g c g 30 n e p s el o c l e Ne rati pm s w on en ts ir r i a l s ga uc 40 Tr t io an n p ce s s sp En o r oj i on ec erg rt in ts Ma y i fr a 50 j nf r s t r 2°C warming very likely Pr or u astr uctu ote rba u re Co c t e n i ct u re as d a nfra 60 t lin r e s t La e d a s ru c rg ef e tur ed nc e am es 70 La nd s sc ap I nt ea 80 e rg rc h en it e e ra c tu Fo t io re r es na ts le 90 uc qu 4°C warming possible ce 1m sea level rise likely Br ss i ty i dg io n ed Su es 100 bu i gn rb lif e l oc a ti 2. A focus on long-term development scenarios on s years from now
    17. 3. Developing the capabilities of local institutions to dealwith uncertainty, change and surprises. Ready or not?1) Ability to assess: Do institutions examine available information to guide decision making? On what basis? Which information is available / not available? How iterative?2) Ability to prioritize: On what basis are local institutions assigning special importance to particular issues, areas, sectors, or community groups? How is the ability to engage stakeholders? How transparent is prioritization?3) Ability to coordinate: Do institutions harmonize action at multiple levels, both within and outside of government? Is there avoidance of duplication, identification of gaps, or creation of economies of scale? How is awareness raised and information shared? Horizontal and/or vertical?4) Ability to manage information: How are institutions collecting, analyzing, and disseminating new information in support of risk management activities? Does this information cover climate variables, the status of natural and human systems, and coping strategies?5) Ability to manage risk: Are institutions able to identify priority elements at risk and their exposure and sensitivity? Are they able to evaluate options to address risks (reduce, accommodate, or transfer)?6) Ability to work with different sources of finance
    18. 4. Thinking about emissions too Food systems contributes 10,000 to17,000 Mt CO2 eq 19-29% global GHGs 80-86% of this comes from agriculture, but with wide regional variationVermeulen et al. 2012Annual Review of Environment and Resources (in press)
    19. g d in n u r a s n a io e t M ta n . p5 a io d g at a ti m i
    20. 3. Integration
    21. “Submersible” rural roads - Bangladesh
    22. Mekong Delta9cm sea level rise last 40 years30% rice production, 25% catfish productionlost by 2050
    23. Salinity modeling for the Mekong Delta in Vietnam (Source: MRC, 2010) 50 cm sea level rise 100 cm sea level rise
    24. Adaptation :for ASAP Goal Smallholder t a a Agriculture e n c e Increased resilience of poor smallholder farmers l im fin Programme to climate change C -) ASAP Development r fo o o Objective n c ol ( oMultiple-benefit a ti t adaptation approaches r a te g in with smallholders are scaled up and shared
    25. Thank you