Best Practices in Identifying Best Practices in crop production under climate change

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www.fao.org/climatechange/epic

This keynote presentation was delivered at the 3rd Global Conference on Agriculture, Food Security, and Climate Change which took place on 3-5 December 2013, in Johannesburg, South Africa. The presentation highlights some Best Practices in Crop Production under climate change and the importance of Climate-Smart Agriculture.

© FAO: http://www.fao.org

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Best Practices in Identifying Best Practices in crop production under climate change

  1. 1. Best Practices in Identifying Best Practices in crop production under climate change Andrea Cattaneo Agricultural Development Economics Division FAO Keynote presentation Best Practices in Crop Production 3rd Global Conference on Agriculture, Food Security, and Climate Change December 3rd, 2013
  2. 2. Overview Part 1 – Challenges due to Climate Change Part 2 – “Technical” Aspects of Best Practices Part 3 – Incorporating Economic Decisions Part 3 – The Role of Institutions
  3. 3. African agriculture in a +4 °C world Length of growing period (%) To 2090, ensemble mean of 14 climate models >20% loss 5-20% loss No change 5-20% gain >20% gain Thornton et al. (2010)
  4. 4. But these changes are likely already happening... Source: (FAO, 2013
  5. 5. Smallholders’ response to climate change Technologies and practices to increase resilience of agricultural systems: • Soil and nutrient management • Improving water harvesting and retention • Understanding and dealing with changes in distribution 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, …) There is a need to prioritize among these options...
  6. 6. Climate Smart Agriculture Important to build evidence-based agricultural development strategies, policies and investment frameworks to: 1. sustainably increase agricultural productivity and incomes, 2. build resilience and the capacity of agricultural and food systems to adapt to climate change, and 3. seek opportunities to reduce and remove GHGs compatibly with their national food security and development goals. Clearly identifying best practices is a key step in attaining these goals 6
  7. 7. Overview Part 1 – Challenges due to Climate Change Part 2 – “Technical” Aspects of Best Practices Part 3 – Incorporating Economic Decisions Part 3 – The Role of Institutions
  8. 8. Identifying Best Practices The natural approach to identifying CSA best practices is to examine proxies for the three pillars of CSA: 1. Productivity 2. Resilience 3. Carbon balances However, a best practice can really be considered such only if it is actually adopted by farmers 8
  9. 9. Examples of potential CSA best practices Production Practices Conservation agriculture Nitrogen fertilizer Integrated nutrient mgmt Reduced residue burning Reduced tillage / no-till Resilience Mitigation Adoption Barriers ++ +++ ++ ++ + ++ ++ -++ + ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? + + *These examples are purely illustrative and hypothetical • How well a practice will perform in the three CSA dimensions will depend on the agro-ecological and socioeconomic contexts, and the farming system it is being applied to. •These three factors combined will also determine the barriers to adoption
  10. 10. Identifying Best Practices Understanding and overcoming barriers to adoption is a crucial aspect of identifying best practices for CSA 10
  11. 11. Overview Part 1 – Challenges due to Climate Change Part 2 – “Technical” Aspects of Best Practices Part 3 – Incorporating Economic Decisions Part 3 – The Role of Institutions
  12. 12. The Building Blocks for CSA Success: An FAO country-based approach 1. Assessing the situation: identifying locally viable CSA practices 2. Understanding barriers to adoption of CSA practices 3. Managing climate risk 4. Building coherent policies & Institutions 5. Guiding investment
  13. 13. Overcoming Barriers to Adoption for Better Project Success: The case of Zambia Practices: Conservation Farming practices: minimum soil disturbance (MSD) and crop rotation(CR) – MSD adoption remains very low: ~5-6% (sample size 4,187) – Significant dis-adoption: ~90% of MSD adopters in 2004 abandoned it – Adoption intensity is significantly higher for smallholders Adoption: Strongest determinants – Variability of rainfall – Delays in the onset of rains – Extension information
  14. 14. With climate information can target interventions... Source: (FAO, 2013
  15. 15. Emerging Evidence: Malawi • Practices: improved maize varieties, inorganic and organic fertilizers (OF), legume intercropping (LI), and agro-forestry (AF) (e.g. Faidherbia albida) • Adoption: Important determinants: – Land tenure positively correlate with OF,LI, AF – Drought proneness positively correlate with AF&LI • Yields: – Improved seed, legume Intercropping & agro-forestry positively correlate with productivity – Significant synergies among all three practices 7
  16. 16. Overview Part 1 – Challenges due to Climate Change Part 2 – “Technical” Aspects of Best Practices Part 3 – Incorporating Economic Decisions Part 3 – The Role of Institutions & Investment
  17. 17. What barriers to adoption linked to institutions? Tenure Security: lack of tenure security and limited property rights, may hinder adoption of SLM Limited Access to Information, e.g. very low levels of investment for agriculture research and extension Up-front financing costs can be high, whilst on-farm benefits not realized until medium-long term (credit) Risk plays an important role What effect does a practice have on risk profile? What safety nets?
  18. 18. Strengthening local institutions: how to improve the enabling environment? • Local institutions (formal & informal) are “enablers” for adoption • 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 uncertainty) • Collective action (CC changes scale)
  19. 19. Conclusion • Technical aspects of practices are very important, but to be successful practices need to be adopted on the ground by farmers • Adoption will depend on economics, institutions, and appropriate investment • Potential CSA practices should be evaluated taking these aspects into account when developing CSA investment proposals Identify barriers and enabling factors Managing Climate Risk Guiding Investments Defining coherent policies Assessing potential practices 7
  20. 20. Thank you! If interested in the CSA evidence-base for Malawi, Viet Nam, and Zambia go to: http://www.fao.org/climatechange/epic/en/

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