Many smallholder farmers in developing countries are facing food insecurity, poverty and need to deal with climate change impacts and scarce natural resources. In order to face the climate change challenges, increase the food production and better their livelihoods, they would need to introduce climate-resilient agricultural practices. Climate-smart agriculture (CSA) is an approach that aims to achieve global food security and chart a sustainable pathway for agricultural development in changing climate. CSA seeks to increase farm productivity in a sustainable manner, but also adapt the political and institutional framework in which farmers learn and adapt the tested practices.
FAO and the Government of Finland design the Mitigation of Climate Change in Agriculture (MICCA) Programme to expand evidence and build CSA readiness. The pilot projects of the programme ran from 2011 to 2014 and they linked research, practice and policy making at different levels in order to enhance the effectiveness of planning and programming for CSA. The projects were specifically designed to promote knowledge exchange, conduct scientific research and analyse the barriers to adoption of CSA.
The final outcomes of the projects include evidence for increased yields and therefore income and food availability, which is a great indicator that CSA practices, can contribute to improving global food security and alleviating food security. But the projects have also shown that in order to implement successfully the CSA practices, they need to be tailored to the specific local conditions. Furthermore, benefits for the farmers need to be immediate and long-term to ensure stronger commitment to the adoption of the practices. Overall the projects have shown that connecting research, practice and policy is critical for the effective scaling up of CSA.