How to scale up CSA? Here are some ideas that experts shared with the New Agriculturist website on how to scale up CSA practices, and hopefully, gain governments’ and small farmers’ buy in.
Policies need to be developed to incentivise and reward climate smart practices, including carbon sequestration. Education, training and knowledge will also be critical – including early warning systems to alert farmers to weather changes, along with support and promotion through farm extension services. In addition, we need increased support for research, development and technologies, to ensure wider availability of drought tolerant crop varieties.
Our future agriculture needs to be flexible and able to deal with a range of uncertain impacts of climate change. It should be highly productive while at the same time low in emissions. This will only be possible if we have resourceful farmers, farmers that are well-educated, have access to infrastructure, inputs, varieties, markets, knowledge and information. So, above all, let us invest in empowering smart agriculturalists!
An Notenbaert, International Livestock Research Institute
Immediate priorities should include the realisation of the G8 funding commitments made in L’Aquila; national government commitment to earmark specific funding to re-establish and improve extension services; a strong and global commitment to supporting public-private partnerships as a means to advance research and the adoption of new practices and technologies; and specific commitments to research funding in key crops and on key issues, such as water use.
Farming first coalition
Early action is needed to identify, pilot and scale-up best practices to strengthen institutional capacities and enhance experiences that can help make informed choices to transform agriculture. Tools and knowledge on Climate Smart Agriculture must be further enhanced and shared. We must invest in education, capacity development and communication of climate-smart practices.
If Climate Smart Agriculture can increase food production and be sustained over time, it may lead to higher global food security. However, producing more food is only one of many chords that need to be orchestrated before every human on the planet can consume the minimum daily calories required to sustain life. Currently, food is available – the challenge for poor people across the globe is accessing food they can afford. Increased productivity is necessary but not sufficient to ensure food security.
Climate Smart Agriculture adds mitigation to a focus on well-established agricultural strategies around raising productivity, growth through modernisation, technology development and the green revolution. Yet whilst the concept of Climate Smart Agriculture reinforces the status quo around growth, the evidence base to suggest that growth approaches are the solution to, and not just the cause of, the climate problem, remains at best inconclusive.
Rocio Hiraldo/Andy Newsham, Institute of Development Studies/Future Agricultures Consortium
CSA is the latest attempt to reconcile the dual, competing, prerogatives for achieving global food security: increasing agricultural productivity whilst maintaining environmental integrity through a combination of mitigation and adaptation strategies. Unfortunately the practical results of these dualistic trade-offs often create unforeseen consequences, such as an increased reliance on technological and other inputs. This can further marginalise those that are already excluded from the global development agenda, thereby exacerbating existing inequalities in the food system.
Laura Pereira, Oxford University/Future Agricultures Consortium
CSA practices propose a transformation of agriculture, in the way we grow food and treat the environment in a changing climate. Think about it. Share this post with whom you need to leverage. Let’s spread the word. Let’s have the policy makers listen to this. Let’s change the way food is produced so people in 2050 have sustainably produced food in their tables.