The time is ripe for climate adaptation in agriculture
This blog by CABI argues that adaptation efforts fall short of those who need them the most: the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people. Climate change impacts agriculture through changes in rainfall and temperature. Smallholder farmers are the most vulnerable and disproportionately affected by these changes. However, crops are already being lost by pests and invasive species. This is getting worse due to climate change, by impacting the biology, distribution and outbreaks potential of pests and invasive species across land uses and landscapes, which further affects crop production and the natural resource base. In addition, biodiverse ecosystems that have been disturbed following extreme climatic events become more susceptible to invasive species. Therefore, reducing the impact of pests and invasive species under a changing climate is urgent. However, in developing countries access to timely extension and information resources for smallholder farmers is generally extremely low, with women having even less access than men.Access to the right information at the right time is of crucial importance for smallholder farmers to adapt to climate change. CABI organises partnerships where plantwise plant clinics with technological innovations to diagnose crop pests an diseases and provide remedial advice to farmers to help them save their crops and increase their yields. One of the recent successes is in Sri Lanka, where quick diagnosis and response actions helped stop banana skipper pest. Goals could be reached faster by harnessing new technology to help keep one further step ahead. Furthermore, extra capital to help farmers in developing countries access the technologies and input they need to produce more, should be released.
For more information on this topics, CABI released a number of publication. An article on climate-smart pest management, and three books: Conservation Agriculture for Africa: Building Resilient Farming Systems in a Changing Climate and Crop Stress Management and Global Climate Change and Climate Change and Agricultural Water Management in Developing Countries.