Farmers Face Challenges Adopting Climate-Smart Approaches

FAO14 August 2013: A three-year project of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) has released preliminary findings on the constraints preventing farmers in Malawi, Viet Nam and Zambia from adopting agricultural approaches that further local adaptation to and mitigation of climate change.

The Economics and Policy Innovations for Climate-Smart Agriculture (EPIC) Programme has sought to identify climate-smart agriculture under various conditions. The project has noted that farmers' immediate needs for crop residues to feed animals outweighed the benefits they achieved from soil cover through climate smart approaches, while in other cases, farmers were unable to wait the number of years necessary before benefits emerged.

In Zambia, the project noted that uptake of practices was higher in areas experiencing delayed onset of rains and other potentially severe climate impacts. In Viet Nam, poor farmers were unable to transition to more resilient tree crops because of the number of years it took for crops to mature and because of high prices for maize. The project has also sought to identify areas of potential conflict between climate change and agricultural policies and identify opportunities for Malawi, Viet Nam, and Zambia to learn lessons from one another. It also highlights that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to climate-smart agriculture. [FAO Press Release] [FAO Project Documents]