Agriculture is a sector which is particularly vulnerable to climate change while significantly contributing to global greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). Smallholder farmers in developing countries are among the hardest hit from climate-related disasters and slow-onset changes in the climatic conditions. This exacerbates the challenges they are already dealing with such as limited access to extension services, rural infrastructure, health, education, land, water and other natural resources. Very often, smallholder agriculture is challenged by contexts which give priority to a large-scale industrial agriculture.
Enhancing climate resilience within smallholder agriculture must be adapted to the local context, based on a sound analysis of existing (climate and non-climate) risks and capacities. Supporting smallholder families in increasing the diversity of their choices and working with local agrobiodiversity contributes to their resilience. It needs a combination of good agricultural practices, including water and soil management, sustainable practices (e.g., kitchen gardens, crop diversification and rotation, adapted sowing and management techniques) and mixed systems (such as agroforestry or livestock-agriculture). These need to be combined with other livelihood strategies and an improvement in infrastructure, access to health and education and political participation.
Looking at marginalized groups is key to developing sound adaptation strategies and building local resilience. Women are often more affected by these impacts while having important knowledge which plays a key role in developing and implementing adaptation strategies. Pastoralists play an important role in sustaining local biodiversity, but can face competing interests with local farmers. Indigenous communities have a long history of managing their lands, but are under increasing pressure by large-scale land acquisitions.
- Vulnerability and risk assessments for agricultural projects
- Capacity building and training on climate change in agricultural projects bringing together different stakeholders from local communities, NGOs and governments
- Facilitation of dialogue processes on climate-related issues
- Studies and publications
- Monitoring and evaluation with a specific focus on agriculture and climate change