A female farmer in the community of Beora in Nepal’s Rupandehi District. Photo by: Neil Palmer / CIAT

Climate-smart agriculture (CSA) profiles for some of Asia’s most climate change-vulnerable countries are now out.

CSA involves agricultural practices that can help farmers adapt to and mitigate climate change.

The profiles summarize the challenges for and impacts on agriculture in each country due to the changing climate. They then list CSA practices, targeted to each country and its key crops.

The most recent CSA country profiles cover Bangladesh, Nepal, and Pakistan. Altogether, the three South Asian countries are home to nearly 400 million people.

As per the 2017 Global Climate Risk Index, Bangladesh and Pakistan are among top 10 most susceptible countries. Four others in Asia also make the top 10: Myanmar, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Thailand.

The CSA profiles for Bangladesh, Nepal, and Pakistan show a common trend: Climate change will have mixed effects on their agricultural sectors.

And so by 2050:

  • In Bangladesh, production of staple crops like maize, pulses, vegetables, jute, and wheat will go down. That’s because farmland will shrink as a result stronger monsoon rains, which will cause more flooding, together with sea level rise and increased intrusion of saltwater into rivers and canals used for irrigation in the low-lying country. Here, presently, agriculture takes up 70 percent of total land area, with a quarter of its territory less than 1 meter above sea level.
  • In Pakistan, there will be more droughts in winter, while increased rainfall will worsen flooding throughout the country. As a result, the area suitable for producing wheat, the most important cereal, is expected to shrink, while that for cotton, maize, rice, sugarcane, and tropical fruits will expand. At present, 25 million people in the country, most of whom are women, work in agriculture.
  • In Nepal, increased temperatures and rainfall will benefit wheat in some areas, but increasing water scarcity is expected to affect yields of maize, potato, rice, sugarcane, lentil, and vegetables. Currently, agriculture accounts for a third of the country’s gross domestic product and employs nearly three quarters of the labor force.

In Bangladesh, for example, the CSA profile is being used in developing climate change projects. Also in Bangladesh, the World Bank is developing a climate-smart investment plan where the CSA technologies identified in the country profile are being modeled for impact should production be scaled out to the national level. CIAT is conducting this modeling exercise.

“Action begins with right and timely information. And we are thrilled to see concrete activities and solutions come out of the information contained in the CSA profiles that we develop,” said Felicitas Röhrig, Climate Policy Analyst at CIAT Asia.

Last April, CIAT’s Asia office launched the Climate Policy Hub, which brings together the latest science and information on climate change for researchers and policymakers. That includes the CSA profiles.

Experts leading the Climate Policy Hub will host a high-level panel discussion on Nov. 10 in Bonn, Germany. The side event to the 2017 U.N. Climate Change Conference will discuss lessons learned from developing and using CSA country profiles to engage decision-makers.

All in all, there are CSA profiles for 22 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America and the Caribbean. These profiles are a product of CIAT-led CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security.

In the coming months, CCAFS expects to release similar documents for Ethiopia, Ghana, Mali, Niger and Uganda.

It has also produced CSA profiles at subnational levels in Kenya, to aid decision-makers at district level.

 

Climate risk and food security:

How do these countries fare?

2017 Global Climate Risk Index

(out of 181 countries)

Bangladesh

Pakistan

Nepal

2017 Global Food Security Index

(out of 113 countries)

Bangladesh

Pakistan

Nepal

***

Additional information:

CSA country profiles give an overview of the agricultural challenges in countries around the world, and how CSA can help them adapt to and mitigate climate change. , CIAT and CCAFS developed the profiles in partnership with the World Bank, Costa Rica’s CATIE, and USAID’s Bureau for Food Security.

The science-policy interface for climate-smart agriculture in action: What are the lessons learned?” will be by The Crop Trust. It’s the Agriculture Advantage series of side events to COP 23 in Bonn, Germany, with the aim of “setting an agenda for transforming agricultural development in the face of climate change.”

The Global Climate Risk Index assesses the degree to which countries are influenced by impacts of storms, floods and other weather-related events. Germanwatch publishes the index.

The Global Food Security Index tells which countries are most or least susceptible to food insecurity, based on three criteria: affordability, availability, and quality of food.

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