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  • Matt Spencer

Climate Smart Agriculture in Africa

Climate Smart Agriculture in Africa:

What is Climate Smart Agriculture?

Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) is an approach for transforming and reorienting agricultural development under the new realities of climate change. According to the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations, climate smart agriculture can be defined as “agriculture that sustainably increases productivity, enhances resilience (adaptation), reduces/removes GHGs (mitigation) where possible, and enhances achievement of national food security and development goals”. Thus, the key goal of CSA is to enhance food security and development. There are three key aspects to achieving climate smart agriculture. These are: productivity; adaptation; and mitigation.

CSA profiles have been produced for 14 African countries: Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. These profiles give an overview of the agricultural context and challenges in each country through a CSA lens, and provide a snapshot of the key issues, challenges, constraints, opportunities and enabling factors for scaling up the adoption of climate-smart agricultural practices along specific value chains.

Why do we need CSA?

Agriculture is becoming increasingly risky throughout the African continent because of uncertain weather patterns, climate change, and poor rural infrastructure. As such, farmers require a detailed, sustainable plan for their agricultural future. CSA is expected to boost agricultural output, support development and encourage greater food security throughout Africa. Eliminating the risk attached to agriculture is imperative to fostering a greater agricultural future. According to Sebastian Grey, a climate change scientist at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture, “De-risking is critical for unlocking agricultural finance by allowing investors, project developers and governments to reduce the possibilities of negative or unsatisfactory outcomes.” CSA attempts to address climate change and integrate multiple goals and manage trade-off. CSA also

CSA is slowly working through the continent but has not been taken up by as many farmers as had been hoped. “While there is high-level support for CSA, the adoption of CSA remains low, largely due to the lack of knowledge on CSA practices and the often-high upfront economic capital costs, among other barriers,” says Grey.

Do you think climate smart agriculture can work in an African context? Let us know in the comments below!

[Source: CSA Guide – https://goo.gl/4nYok5]

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