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Climate-smart agriculture should be livelihood-smart too
Date:12/2/2011

include eating seeds reserved for planting, selling assets (livestock, tree poles, etc.) at below market value, or building up debt in order to survive. These are only short-term solutions to drought and poverty.

By 2050 approximately 70 percent more food will have to be produced to feed growing populations, particularly in developing countries. As climate change causes temperatures to rise and precipitation patterns to change, more weather extremes will potentially reduce global food production.

In Africa, where 80 percent of smallholder farmers own less than two hectares of land, there will be 1.2 billion more people to feed. Farmers will have to adapt to these changing conditions in order to feed this growing population.

"Our research shows that when farmers change their farming practices their returns are not immediate and in some cases there is a drop in income. For climate-smart agriculture to work there has to be incentive for farmers to change and maintain new production systems," says Neufeldt, speaking at the ongoing COP17 Climate Change Talks in Durban, South Africa.

"Climate-smart agriculture won't be effective unless it specifically targets food security and livelihoods. Farmers must have sufficient incentives to change the way they manage their production systems," says Neufeldt.

Sayon Kourouma, is a farmer from Guinea, West Africa, who has benefitted from an ICRAF partnership project for peanut tree farmers, that seeks to cater to household needs while improving the way in which local forests are managed.

"I am now earning four times as much as I made in the past," says,Sayon. "If my children are sick, I don't have to ask my husband for money, I can pay for medicines myself."

Other signs of her new-found prosperity include a cow and her mobile phone which she uses to transact business. To cater to her basic necessities, Sayon no longer relies on solutions that bring about deforestation. To her, climate-smart agriculture
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Contact: Paul Stapleton
p.staopleton@cgiar.org
World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF)
Source:Eurekalert

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