Designing climate resilient agricultural systems with some examples from India

Whitbread, A M and Dhulipala, R K and Nedumaran, A and Padhee, A K and Padmaja, R and Ramraj, P and Rao, K P C and Shalander, K and Zougmore, R B (2021) Designing climate resilient agricultural systems with some examples from India. In: 5th International Agronomy Congress, 23-27 November 2021, Hyderabad, India.

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Climate variability is a major source of risk in food production in the semi-arid tropics that are home to almost 2.5 billion people. With other biophysical, socio-economic and political factors, climate risk contributes enormously to food insecurity, economic losses, and poverty. This situation is likely to be exacerbated by the projected changes in climate. Past and ongoing work has enabled us to understand the impacts of climate variability and change on smallholder agriculture and the perceptions and coping strategies being adopted by farmers. Research has also identified a number of potential options that can contribute to improved management of agricultural systems under variable climatic conditions. Agricultural productivity and profitability under these high climate risk environments aretherefore dependent on: (i) the inherent resilience of the farming enterprises which is a function of farm design within the context of the agricultural innovation system (we term strategic); and (ii) how well the farm activities are planned and executedin the context of the climatic risks (we term tactical). The concepts of climate-resilient agriculture or climatesmart agriculture (CSA) have also emerged in response to the need to manage a variable and changing climate and to a large extent, build on well-established agronomic principles and crop improvement. However, the objectives of CSA are much broader and encompass increasing productivity and incomes, adapting practices and technologies to a changing climate and minimising emissions from agriculture, including the capture of greenhouse gases into soils. According to FAO (2021), these objectives may not always be met simultaneously, and consequently, the CSA approach should attempt to reduce trade-offs and promote synergies in their application considering the context. CSA is a broad catch-all term and encompasses actions at all levels from farm through to country and regions, implemented by farmers, the private sector, community organisations and governments. For example, a study by FAO (2021) found that the Climate-Smart Agriculture Investment Investment Plan (CSAIP) for Mali, developed by the Ministry of Agriculture, proposed eight climate-smart crop and livestock investments (value chains for non-timber forest products, flood recession agriculture, livestock, the integration of millet, sorghum and legumes, vegetables, the restoration of degraded lands, sustainable rice intensification and wheat). For the purposes of this short review, we will focus on CSA as it relates to decisions made at the farm level and may encompass single technological innovations (e.g., a more heat or drought tolerant crop variety), packages of innovations (e.g., a bundle of agronomic practices with climate information for decision-making) through to the design of farms and farming systems to cope with climate variability and extreme events. Examples from semi-arid farming systems in India are used.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Divisions: Global Research Program - Enabling Systems Transformation
CRP: CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Climate Resilient
Subjects: Others > Climate Resilient Technologies
Others > Food and Nutrition
Others > Climate Change
Depositing User: Mr Arun S
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2021 04:20
Last Modified: 14 Dec 2021 07:27
Acknowledgement: The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support given by the Earth System Science Organization, Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India (IITM/MMII/ ICRISAT/2018/IND-11 and IITM/MM-II/CRIDAICRISAT- IIPR /2018/IND-9) to conduct this research under Monsoon Mission II. This research was supported by the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) carried out with support from the CGIAR Trust Fund and through bilateral funding agreements
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