30 years

How can knowledge lead to resilience? The effects of climate change and other shocks have forced those in the agricultural community to reassess farming practices and adopt a more climate-smart approach to agriculture. Indeed, to ensure food security for the years ahead, farming much become climate resilient. CTA has long been an advocate of climate-smart agriculture. Working with its partners, the Centre is closely involved in a wide range of initiatives that support climate change adaptation and mitigation policy development and implementation. CTA collaborates with other organisations to promote best practices in this area. Most importantly, CTA brings together not just the policy makers and climate experts but the farmers, pastoralists and others who are directly impacted by climate change. This multistakeholder approach to dialogue ensures that the policies created will have a greater impact. Only by promoting policies and practices for sustainable agriculture, can CTA continue to champion knowledge is resilience.

After decades of deforestation in Niger, leading to serious soil erosion and dramatically declining yields for crop and livestock, a rural regeneration project in the Maradi region is encouraging farmers to allow the stumps of felled indigenous trees to regrow. Producers are also planting new trees to replace some of those destroyed over the years. As a result, they are being rewarded with less soil erosion, rising water tables, higher crop yields, better availability of firewood and fewer pests and diseases. A recent study by the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) showed that this practice, known as farmer-managed natural regeneration (FMNR), has more than tripled yields of millet, from 150 kg/hectares(ha) to 500 kg/ha. Overall, the changes brought about by FMNR have been calculated as having an annual value of US$56 per ha.

For millions of farmers in the developing world – and the people who rely on them to produce the food they eat – climate change is an issue of fundamental importance. Drought, excessive rainfall, hurricanes and other extreme weather events can decimate crops and cause devastating damage to livestock. And as producers in many ACP countries know to their cost, such events are becoming more frequent.

Tools used for knowledge platforms are likely to vary widely according to the target audience and will often involve a mix. For closed groups, such as the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG), email discussion groups can be highly effective. Social media is especially useful in bringing a disparate group of people together, who may have different agendas. For farmers' organisations, Facebook has proved a useful channel, with Twitter being used around their major meetings and events. MSG also used Facebook to advertise the fact that it has developed a Green Growth Framework.