Appropriate Climate Smart Technologies for Smallholder Farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa

Nearly 70 per cent of the population in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) live in rural areas and rely mainly on agriculture for livelihood security. Low agricultural productivity in the region keeps this population under constant pressure, even though investment in agriculture is a proven way to reduce regional poverty. Studies have shown that Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth in agriculture is at least twice as effective in reducing poverty as GDP growth originating outside agriculture. It is therefore necessary to develop and implement appropriate agricultural policies to support proven practices to alleviate poverty in this region where the majority of the population live on less than US$ 2 per day.

Climate Smart Agriculture in Practice

Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) is an applied set of farming principles and practices that increases productivity in an environmentally and socially sustainable way (adaptation); strengthens farmers’ capacities to cope with the effects and impacts of climate change (resilience); conserves the natural resource base through maintaining and recycling organic matter in soils (carbon storage); and, as a result reduces greenhouse gas emissions (mitigation). Climate-smart agriculture includes proven technologies and practices — such as water management, intercropping, conservation agriculture, crop rotation, mulching, integrated crop-livestock management systems, agroforestry, and improved pasture and grazing management. Through an enabling policy environment, coupled with accompanying measures to take appropriate technologies (existing and newly adapted) to scale, CSA centers on preparing smallholders for productive change and sustainability in their farming systems and practices across the region.