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Crop diversity for climate change adaptation


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Presentation given at the workshop 'Integrating genetic diversity considerations into national climate change adaptation plans - Development of guidelines', Rome, 8-9 April organized by the FAO Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. It was presented by Michael Halewood, Policy Theme Leader at Bioversity International, on behalf of the CGIAR Research Progam on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS)

Published in: Environment, Science, Technology
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Crop diversity for climate change adaptation

  1. Crop diversity for climate change adaptation Michael Halewood, Bioversity International 8 April 2014
  2. • Led by the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), Program manager from University of Copenhagen, CCAFS is a collaboration among all 15 CGIAR research centres with over 700 partners. Future earth is a founding, executing partner. • The program is carried out with funding support from governments and aid agencies, both through the CGIAR Fund and bilaterally: 57 million in 2013 The CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS)
  3. Research themes Geographical engagement
  5. Table of contents • What do we know about use of crop diversity for adaptation? • What are there knowledge gaps that need to be addressed? • How is CCAFS addressing them? • How will research results be translated into practice? The CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS)
  6. What we know
  7. Estimated impact of +3 C change on crop yields by 2050 Source: World resources instituteChanges in the intensity, frequency and seasonality of precipitation Changes in groundwater and river flows Temperature rising between 2-4 C Source: CCAFS
  8. What we know about the role of crop diversity • We know the outer limits of heat/cold, drought/water logging that a number of crops can tolerate • Can increase the resilience of agricultural production systems • Is a source of useful traits to adapt to changing climatic conditions
  9. A static, one-time adaptation response is not enough: capacity to continuously adapt is critical Adaptive capacity must be continuous, rolling
  10. What we know about policy challenges • Policies and public interventions oriented towards simplified production systems • Public investments on seed often focus on few crops and few varieties • Policies designed with other objectives in mind can have negative effect on availability and use crop diversity • Countries increasing interdependence on plant genetic resources often overlooked. Availability is limited • Rarely integrated into national climate change adaptation strategies
  11. What we need to investigate
  12. • How to identify highest potential (in terms of adaptation) materials in genebanks, farmers fields, breeding programmes? • In what situations does crop diversity have high/low potential to contribute to adaptation and farmers’ livelihoods? • What diversity-based adaptation interventions have the most potential to promote gender equity? • What is the value of the gains that can be made through crop diversification? How can such information be used for trade-off decisions? • How can we scale up projects so that large numbers of farmers can deploy crop diversity to adapt to climate-related stresses?
  13. Addressing knowledge gaps
  14. The ‘Seeds for Needs’ approach
  15. The Seeds for Needs approach Combining climate change data with data on crop suitability, geographic information and genebank accession collection coordinates to identify genebank materials that can adapt to specific climatic conditions.
  16. 4. Farmers test and report back by mobile phone 2. Each farmer gets a different combination of varieties 3. Environmental data (GPS, sensors) to assess adaptation 1. A broad set of varieties is evaluated 6. Data are used to detect demand for new varieties and traits 5. Farmers receive tailored variety recommendations and can order seeds Participatory evaluation
  17. Engaging farmers
  18. 18 Drought tolerant maize for Africa • 60 tolerant varieties hybrids • 57 OPVs • 20-30% more maize than other available varieties under drought conditions • 29,000 tons of seed produced in 2011/12 season • 2.9 million smallholder farmers Since 2006, developing and deploying maize varieties providing good harvest under reduce rainfall. For 300 million people in sub-Saharan Africa maize means ‘life’. Nearly all African farmers rely on rainfall to grow maize – drought means disaster.
  19. An agricultural technology evaluation database for climate change analysis to: • facilitate the analysis on the performance of agricultural technologies under a changing climate • form the basis for improving models of agricultural production under current and future conditions and for evaluating the efficacy of trialed materials for adaptation. AgTrials
  20. • CIAT is supporting participatory variety selection of beans suited to local climatic conditions in Uganda. Also working closely with the GCDT to identify major gaps of wild species in ex situ collections. • With IRRI and IFPRI, improving modelling framework for cassava, beans, rice and tropical forages to prioritize technology development in the face of climate change • ICARDA is using some of the similar suit of tools to identify and characterize analogue sites in WA, EA and SAsia suitable for testing breeding lines and as potential sources of climate change adapted germplasm • IRRI has developed a model to simulate of rice yield losses/gains under different production situations, injury profiles and improved crop management and protection technologies. • ICRISAT has supported farmer knowledge exchanges regarding adaptation strategies and technologies in Tanzania and Kenya • Other centres are breeding for traits adapted to climate change, usually in CGIAR Research Programmes on commodities • Bioversity International: researching use of traditional crop varietal diversity to reduce crop loss to pest and disease attacks (under CRP WLE). Additional initiatives
  21. • Researching changing patterns of research and development relationships (in seed chains), sources and flows of germplasm in response to climate changes, and impact of policies on those changes – CGIAR centres (2011-1012) – Other PGRFA users – mostly breeders and genebanks – in 19 countries (2013-2014) • Analysis of extent to which NAPAs, other national policies they include crop diversification as adaptation strategy. Working through national projects to have crop diversification included, supported. Policy research
  22. • Research and capacity building for implementation/participation in the Multilateral System of Access and Benefit Sharing of the Plant Treaty • Research on influence of subsidies in varietal seed multiplication/availability in developing countries • Network analyses of factors affecting diffusion and uptake of climate smart practices, including crop diversification Policy research Countries classified based on the number of transfers of material from CGIAR breeding programs in 2009. Source: CGIAR database
  23. Translating research into practice
  24. Translating research into practice • Policies • Participatory approaches • Capacity building
  25. 1. Farmers’ needs analysis, and 2. Selection of tools and software, and data preparation germplasm identification 4. Germplasm acquisition 5. Field testing of germplasm Documentation DocumentationDocumentation Documentation 3. Climate change analysis and 6. Germplasm conservation 8. Communication formulation of objectives, and 7. Evaluation of the research process Documentation Resilient Seed Systems and Adaptation to Climate Change R&D Process Identification of documentati on options Documentation agreeing on forms of participation Documentation
  26. Thank you