A business-as-usual approach can be tolerated no more. The agricultural development community needs to undertake major transitions now so that food can be produced and consumed by the increasing global population even with climate change. No single solutions or miracles are on a silver platter; therefore, a context-specific portfolio of options needs to be put in place, which will be possible only if we act collectively. Such is the challenge we face today in order to be able to feed the world while achieving the 1.5 °C goal that the IPCC has just ratified.

This discussion paper presents the main issues to be considered in an adaptation roadmap for agriculture, with a particular focus on developing countries. The expertise and experiences of CCAFS scientists and partners around the world were condensed to answer questions such as: What are the principal climate risks to agriculture and the implications of no adaptation? What are the key areas where action is required to advance in the implementation of climate-resilient agricultural practices? What are the emerging lessons from successful adaptation efforts in agriculture? What are the key pathways to scaling up agricultural adaptation?

There is an urgent need to invest in modern, agile agricultural systems in the developing world, especially to support the most vulnerable smallholder farmers in keeping pace with climate change.

According to the experts, five recommendations should become the “must do” from now on in order to counteract climate change risks and ensure food security, which need to be carried out at scale in future agricultural research, policy, action, and advocacy.

1 Promoting climate-resilient and low-emission practices and technologies. There is an urgent need to invest in modern, agile agricultural systems in the developing world, especially to support the most vulnerable smallholder farmers in keeping pace with climate change.

2 Expanding digital climate information services. Getting timely, tailored information to farmers will be crucial to scale their uptake of proven, effective resilience-building tools and techniques. Digital advisory systems, with up-to-date data, and spreading access to digital technology are the answer.

3 Mobilizing innovative finance to leverage public and private sector investments for adaptation. Examples include facilitating public-private partnerships and using public funds to leverage much greater private sector activity.

4 Strengthening farmer and consumer organizations and networks. Considerable resources must be channeled into supporting collective action, building the capacity of farmers and other local organizations, and empowering participation by rural women and youth.

5 Delivering enabling policies and institutions. Governments must step up their focus on delivering policies that support resilient agriculture in order to meet adaptation targets for the sector; mobilize appropriate farming technologies, tools, and practices; and support global food security.

Action is needed now and it is in our hands to start making changes collectively and at scale, turning poverty into well-being, hunger into health, and climate change threats into a sustainable future.

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