Prioritizing climate-smart agricultural land use options at a regional scale
This article (PDF), published in the Agricultural Systems journal, describes a spreadsheet-based methodology that generates information about the suitability of climate-smart agriculture. It is based on a region specific production function and ‘target yield’ approach in current and future climate scenarios. The promotion of climate-smart agriculture in different parts of the world requires a clear understanding of its relative suitability, costs and benefits, and the environmental implications of various technological interventions in a local context under current and future climates. Such data is generally difficult to obtain from the literature, field surveys and focused group discussions, or from biophysical experiments. In this study such data is obtained by measuring target yields that are identified for homogeneous agroecological spatial units using published crop yield datasets, crop models, expert judgement, biophysical land characterisations, assessment of yield gaps and future development strategies. The application of this approach is illustrated for prioritizing agronomic interventions that can enhance productivity and incomes, help farmers adapt to current risk, and decrease greenhouse gas emissions in current and future climates for the flood- and drought-prone state of Bihar in north-eastern India. In general, climate smartness increases with advanced technologies. Yield is the least limiting while emission is the most limiting factor across the entire crop-technology portfolio for climate smartness.