Helping Small-Holder Farmers Deal with Climate Change

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Agriculture is a major activity and land use across the developing world; it is vulnerable to changes in climatic conditions. Climate change affects agricultural systems and production in various ways, for example by changing agro-ecological conditions. Changes in the pattern and amount of precipitation, as well as temperature, can directly affect the suitability of cultivable land for agricultural production, food supplies and food utilisation. Climate change can affect food security, depending on the region and the socioeconomic status of the country involved. The poorest and food-insecure regions such as sub- Saharan Africa are expected to be most vulnerable to climate change. Overall, the adversities of climate change will disproportionately affect the small-holder poor who largely depend on agriculture and who have limited resources to cope with or adapt to climate change. More than 85% of the world’s land-users are classified as small-holders, with farm sizes of less than 2 ha. The impacts of high temperature, variability in precipitation patterns, and events such as severe and frequent drought and floods will most likely enhance production risks for these farmers, further widening the gap between the rich and the poor. Adverse impacts of climate change on the poor may be reduced through appropriate policies such as investment in infrastructure, adoption of sustainable agricultural and natural resource management practices, and advanced technologies that can generate climate-resilient crop varieties and better-adapted livestock breeds. Examples of some of these advanced technologies are described in this account.

 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-22

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