GACSA Forum: Making Agriculture “Climate-Smarter”

Last week, Farming First attended the Annual Forum of the Global Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture (GACSA) in order to launch our latest animated video and series of case studies on climate-smart agriculture (CSA).

Our video was featured as part of the opening session of the conference, which was held at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation in Rome.

The conference hosted a variety of panel discussions on climate-smart agriculture – from identifying best practices and setting up partnerships to financing and evaluating programmes.

One side event hosted by the CGIAR Research Program for Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security showcased the work of Dr. Todd Rosenstock and his team, who have been synthesising all existing research on CSA in Africa – totalling almost 7,500 research papers in total. Called the “Climate-Smart Agriculture Compendium”, the research aims to determine a scientific basis of what works best (or does not) in which regions, as well as the synergies or trade-offs which exist between different practices. In short, the analysis reinforced the idea that CSA best practices are ultimately shaped by the agroecological context and the various priorities of stakeholders:

“By definition, CSA is context specific and subject to the priorities of farmers, communities, and governments where it is being implemented.”

Thus, climate-smart agriculture practices should be considered on a spectrum rather than as universally applicable equally all around the world. (Download the info note on this research work here.)

CSA is context specific Rosenstock

Ahead of the three-day workshop, a delegation also visited the Ortosole farm on the outskirts of Rome to learn more about the climate-smart practices which they have incorporated into their production. These included:

  • hedge rows of native wild plants at the periphery of their farm to encourage biodiversity
  • an innovative wastewater processing system to avoid pollution of farmland
  • beekeeping sites around the farm, and
  • polytunnels for growing vegetables productively using optimal amounts of water and nutrients.

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To learn more about CSA in practice, visit Farming First’s newly launched set of 28 case studies from around the world here.