In many parts of the globe, poor agricultural practices, inadequate infrastructure, labour instability, weak market linkages, limited access to finance, and other issues cause food security risks. Impacts of climate change further exacerbate these constraints and challenges.
In many agroecosystems, the need to adapt to changing long-term weather patterns and to mitigate their impacts is becoming ever more evident. Often, climate change is recognized to be responsible for severe droughts or extreme precipitation events. However, impacts go far beyond the water cycle. Rising temperatures cause a range of issues: amongst others, they increase evapotranspiration and thus water requirements; they threaten the health of people and livestock; and they reduce livestock and plant performance down to complete crop failure thus requiring measures including shading and active cooling. Droughts, erratic or extreme precipitation events cause secondary issues which include increase in soil salinity or prolonged flooding, and increase the need for irrigation, which in turn may cause new issues including depletion of and competition for available water sources.
Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) aims at enhancing the capacity of the agricultural systems to support food security. Proven CSA technologies can reduce climate risks through adaptation and can address climate change through mitigation measures, while at the same time increase agricultural profitability.
In an IFC-funded project in Bangladesh, AFC implemented a wide variety of technical approaches, such as the introduction of adapted varieties with a higher tolerance to soil salinity, increased temperatures, prolonged flooding, or lower water requirements. Other techniques introduced included specific soil preparation and planting practices, production on raised or floating beds, introduction of water harvesting and storage technologies, the spreading of water saving irrigation technology, and many more.