In this section, you may find new materials that have been published on the topic of ‘Agricultural Resilience’, since the date of the event. We continually select major new publications and articles that add up to the policy points discussed in our previous briefing

As Climate Change Pummels Agriculture, Irrigation Offers the Best Protection, 19/12/2018

The changing climate and extreme weather events are affecting agricultural productivity in Africa to such an extent that a panel of experts are urging governments to prioritise and invest in irrigation to ensure food security. Increased heat spells, coupled with flash flooding and frequent droughts, are making farming impossible and unprofitable as many African smallholder farmers rely on rain-fed agriculture. Irrigation development can increase food security while extending the growing season, securing more income and jobs, said the Malabo Montpellier Panel, a group of international experts guiding policy to boost food and nutrition security in Africa. Irrigation the best investment: In a study launched this week, the Malabo Montpellier Panel said Africa has the potential to irrigate 47 million hectares. This can boost agricultural productivity, improve livelihoods and accelerate economic growth. “A number of economies in Africa depend on agriculture,” said Ousmane Badiane, Malabo Montpellier Panel co-chair and Africa director for the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). “That is why water control and irrigation are important to reduce poverty and to eradicate hunger across Africa.” About 20 percent of cultivated land worldwide is irrigated and this contributes to about 40 percent of total food output, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

– The Future of Small Farms: Report on an international conference
Syngenta, January 24-25, 2017

By 2050, the world’s population could rise to almost ten billion. This rapid increase, combined with other factors, will significantly raise food demand and so create opportunities on farms of all sizes. Farmers and the broader agricultural community will play pivotal roles in meeting needs sustainably. Their success will depend on investment, technological innovation and many other facets of modernization. Our conference addressed some of these issues. The aim was to focus attention on relevant aspects for smallholders, and discuss solutions particularly suited to their needs. There are good reasons to concentrate on the future of small farms. Most agricultural units in developing economies and ‘emerging markets’ are small. The prospects for viability as family businesses vary considerably. To flourish, small farmers require special support, public goods and efficient links to input and output markets. These enable them to raise productivity and incomes. In the process, they can advance to positions allowing them, or the next generation, to move off the farm. Labor migration and the consolidation of holdings have repeatedly been features of economic development. They are closely linked to off-farm job creation and onfarm productivity growth. Accelerated progress in both is essential for broadly based improvements in living standards, and in order to match future global food

Climate Change, A Goat Farmer’s Gain, 15/11/2016

Bongekile Ndimande’s family lost more 30 head of cattle to a ravaging drought last season, but a herd of goats survived and is now her bank on four legs. In money value, the drought deprived Ndimande of more than 21,000 dollars. Each goat would be worth an average of 714 dollars if they had survived in the dry, hot and rocky environment in her village of Ncunjana in the KwaZulu Natal Province, which has been stalked by a drought that swept across Southern Africa. More than 40 million people are in need of food following one of the worst droughts ever in the region, with the Southern African Development Community launching a 2.8-billion-dollar emergency aid appeal. Smallholder farmers in South Africa’s KwaZulu Natal Province have shifted to goat production to adapt to climate change. Their fortitude could be a success story for African agriculture in need of transformation to produce more food to feed more people but with fewer resources. Livestockfarmers like Ndimande are making good of a bad situation. They need help to cope with worsening extreme weather events which have led to increased food, nutrition and income security in many parts of Africa. Adapting agriculture to climate change and climate financing are pressing issues at the seminal 22nd meeting of the Conference of Parties (COP 22) which opened this week in the Moroccan city of Marrakesh. Morocco – already setting the pace in implementing the global deal to fight climate change through innovative projects – has unveiled the Adaptation of African Agriculture (AAA), a 30-billion-dollar initiative to transform and adapt African agriculture.

Q&A: Investment and Research Key to Resilient African Agriculture, 25/04/2014

There is urgent need to increase the proportion of climate finance for adaptation in Africa by increasing public sector budgets for agriculture and exploring partnerships with the private sector. This is according to Sonja Vermeulen, head of research for Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), a research programme of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). CGIAR is set to spend close to one billion dollars in agriculture research in 2014. But Vermeulen says African agriculture needs more financing to help smallholder farmers, who produce most of the continent’s food, adapt to climate change. Financing for climate action and adaptation by developing countries has dogged the agenda of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) conferences and remains a hurdle to a binding climate change treaty. According to CCAFS’s “Big Facts” website, total costs for adaptation in agriculture have been estimated at seven billion dollars per year up to 2050. However, of the total flows of climate finance across all sectors, estimated at 364 billion dollars in 2011, only five percent went to adaptation activities. Excerpts of the interview follow: Q: Climate change has huge implications for agriculture in Africa. What is the best way forward as Africa seems to have failed to secure concrete actions from the UNFCCC process? A: In spite of the stalled UNFCCC talks, several African governments are collaborating with research institutions and development partners to explore options for tackling the climate change challenge.

Mountain Farming is Family Farming
FAO, 2013
From a global perspective, mountain farming is family farming. Mountain areas, with their dispersed patches of useable land at different altitudes with different climates and with their often highly fragmented landscapes and narrow limits for mechanization, are most efficiently and effectively managed by family farms.

AGIR Senior Experts’ Group Meeting 2013
OECD, 2013
Within the framework of the 29th RPCA Annual Meeting, the Senior Experts’ Group (AGIR-SEG) met to take stock of progress made in the implementation of the Global Alliance for Resilience (AGIR) since its launch in Ouagadougou in December 2012. Some countries were represented at ministerial level. The countries of the region urge their regional organisations to strengthen communication and political lobbying at the State level, and to provide all necessary technical and financial support for accelerating the implementation of country inclusive dialogues. They also recommend speeding-up the operationalisation of the AGIR Technical Unit and set the RPCA restricted meeting in April 2014 as a deadline for the progress review of country dialogue processes.

The geography of poverty, disasters and climate extremes in 2030
Overseas Development Institute (ODI), October 2013
This report examines the relationship between disasters and poverty. Extreme weather linked to climate change is increasing and will likely cause more disasters. Such disasters, especially those linked to drought, can be the most important cause of impoverishment, cancelling progress on poverty reduction. Up to 325 million extremely poor people will be living in the 49 most hazard-prone countries in 2030, the majority in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Disaster risk management should be a key component of poverty reduction efforts, focusing on protecting livelihoods as well as saving lives. There is a need to identify and then act where the poor and disaster risks are most concentrated. The post-2015 development goals must include targets on disasters and climate change, recognising the threat they pose to the headline goal of eradicating extreme poverty by 2030.

Resilience-building key to reducing ‘unacceptably high’ numbers of hungry people, 14 October 2013
This year’s global hunger index will highlight the need to build more effective links between international policies and the daily needs of millions of the world’s most vulnerable people, write MEPs Gay Mitchell and Norbert Neuser.

The 2013 Global Hunger Index (GHI) on The challenge of hunger
International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), 14 October 2013
The 2013 Global Hunger Index (GHI) on The challenge of hunger: Building resilience to achieve food and nutrition Security was launched today. The report released for the eighth year by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Welthungerhilfe, and Concern Worldwide, calls for greater resilience-building efforts to boost food and nutrition security.

Minister of Agriculture Appeals to EU to be Receptive to Exports from Nigeria
Dailytimes Nigeria, 5 October 2013
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, on Friday appealed to the European Union (EU) to open up its market to encourage export of value added products from Nigeria. Adesina made this appeal at the second EU-Nigerian Business Forum, tagged: “Forging Partnerships in Africa’s Economic Powerhouse” in Lagos. He said that Nigerian businessmen were paying high duties and taxes in EU countries whenever they exported finished products and called for more relaxed tax policies in these countries. According to him, Nigerians export more primary products to Europe than finished products in view of these duties.

Turn Down the Heat: Climate Extremes, Regional Impacts, and the Case for Resilience
World Bank, June 2013
In the report Turn Down the Heat: Climate Extremes, Regional Impacts, and the Case for Resilience, launched in June 2013, scientists look at the likely impacts on three vulnerable regions if the world continues on its current trajectory and warms by 2 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial times by mid-century and continues to become 4°C warmer by 2100

Farmers Increasing Resilience to Climate Change by Diversifying Crops
Molly Redfield, 13 September 2013
The loss of arable land due to climate change may amount to as much as 21 percent in South America, 18 percent in Africa, and 11 to 17 percent in Europe, according to scientists at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. The potential of climate change to adversely impact food security in these regions is staggering.

Coping with shocks in rural Ethiopia
Zelalem Yilma Debebe, 2013
Based on household survey data and event history interviews undertaken in a highly shock prone country, this paper investigates which shocks trigger which coping responses and why? We find clear differences in terms of coping strategies across shock types. The two relatively covariate shocks, that is, economic and natural shocks are more likely to trigger reductions in savings and in food consumption while the sale of assets and borrowing is less common. Coping with relatively idiosyncratic health shocks is met by reductions in savings, asset sales and especially a far greater reliance on borrowing as compared to other shocks. Reductions in food consumption, a prominent response in the case of natural and economic shocks is notably absent in the case of health shocks. Across all shock types, households do not rely on gifts from family and friends or on enhancing their labour supply as coping approaches. The relative insensitivity of food consumption to health shocks based on the shocks-coping analysis presented here is consistent with existing work which examines consumption insurance. However, our analysis leads to a different interpretation. We argue that this insensitivity should not be viewed as insurability of food consumption against health shocks but rather as an indication that a reduction in food consumption is not a viable coping response to a health shock as it does not provide cash to meet health care needs.

ICRAF Highlights Niger’s Farmers Re-Greening Achievements
The World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), July 16, 2013
The World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) has announced the launch of a booklet, titled ‘The Quiet Revolution: How Niger’s Farmers are Re-greening the Parklands of the Sahel,’ which is the twelfth in the ‘Trees for Change’ series that focuses on the efforts of farmers in managed natural regeneration.

Resilient Livelihoods: Disaster Risk Reduction for Food and Nutrition Security Programme from FAO
FAO, May 2013
The FAO Disaster Risk Reduction for Food and Nutrition Security Framework Programme,  the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) seeks to protect livelihoods from shocks, to make food production systems more resilient and more capable of absorbing the impact of, and recovering from, disruptive events.

ActionAid discussion paper on resilience
ActionAid International (ActionAid), 2013
This discussion paper from ActionAid presents a human rights based approach to resilience, which centers around poor and excluded people and tackles the underlying causes of their vulnerability to ensure that they have assets and a secured access to natural resources.

UNITAR, IGAD Partner to Improve Disaster Reduction in East Africa
UNITAR, 15 February 2013
The UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), through its Operational Satellite Applications Programme (UNOSAP), has partnered with East Africa’s Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to promote the use of geospatial technologies to improve disaster reduction in East Africa.

Why the Sahel needs $1.6 billion again this year
IRIN News, 19 February 2013
The 2013 Sahel Regional Strategy calls for US$1.66 billion to help meet humanitarian needs and build up resilience among vulnerable groups – an identical figure to the 2012 crisis appeal – even though aid agencies estimate the number of Sahelians at risk of going hungry this year has dropped 44 percent to 10.3 million. IRIN spoke to aid agency representatives to find out why the ask has remained constant.

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