Communication Strategies for Building Climate-Smart Farming Communities
Farming communities across the globe, especially in the drylands of Asia and Africa, are already facing the effects of climate change. With droughts, unseasonal rains and unpredictable dry spells becoming more frequent, reaching farmers with timely climate information and cropping advice is crucial as are coping strategies to face future climate shocks. There is also an urgent need to create, among farming communities, an awareness on reducing agricultural greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) which contribute to a third of all human-generated GHGs. For this, holistic communication strategies that use best available technologies and target not just farmers but link all the stakeholders along the agricultural value chain are needed. Working for over 40 years in the semi-arid tropics with varied partners, ICRISAT has developed resilient dryland crops and a pool of climate-smart technologies besides researching on biofuels as alternatives for fossil fuels. These technologies are being implemented in locations across sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia. This article records the various approaches used, lessons learnt and successes achieved in building climate smart villages/communes that restore/nurture the environment, use scientific innovations and climate information for cropping decisions, diversify livelihoods, link to markets, influence policy makers and ultimately make agriculture profitable.
KeywordsCommunication strategies Climate change Farming communities Greenhouse gas emissions
I would like to thank ICRISAT staff Ms Joanna Kane-Potaka, Director, Strategic Communication and Marketing; Scientists—Dr. Anthony Michael Whitbread, Program Director, Innovation Systems for the Drylands, Dr. Suhas P. Wani, Research Program Director, Asia Program and Theme Leader, IDC; Dr. Sabine Homann-Kee Tui, Senior Scientist, Markets, Institutions, Nutrition & Diversity; Birhanu Zemadim Birhanu, Scientist, Land and Water Management; and Dr. Samuel Tetteh Partey, Scientist, Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS); and all contributors to the ICRISAT Happenings newsletter for sharing information used in this article.
- Bogumil T (2011) Towards recognition and protection of forced environmental migrants in the public international law: refugee or IDPs umbrella. Policy Studies Organization (PSO) Summit, December 2011Google Scholar
- Chartres C, Varma S (2010) Out of water. From abundance to scarcity and how to solve the world’s water problems. FT Press, USAGoogle Scholar
- FAO (2014) Agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions on the rise. Accessed on 4 Dec 2016, from http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/216137/icode/
- FAO. Climate change mitigation and adaptation in agriculture, forestry and fisheries. Accessed on 13 September 2016, from ftp.fao.org/docrep/fao/010/i0142e/i0142e00.pdf
- Ian Sample (2007) Global food crisis looms as climate change and population growth strip fertile land. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2007/aug/31/climatechange.food. Article accessed on 5 Dec 2016
- ICRISAT (2016) Building climate-smart villages. Five approaches for helping farmers adapt to climate change. International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics, Telangana, 28 pGoogle Scholar
- IEA (2013) Redrawing the energy-climate map: world energy outlook special report. International Energy Agency, Paris, p 126Google Scholar
- IPCC (2007) Climate change 2007: impacts, adaptation and vulnerability. In: Parry ML, Canziani OF, Palutikof JP, van der Linden PJ, Hanson CE (eds) Contribution of working group II to the fourth assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 976 pGoogle Scholar
- Myers SS, Zanobetti A, Kloog I, Huybers P, Leakey ADB, Bloom AJ, Carlisle E, Dietterich LH, Fitzgerald G, Hasegawa T, Holbrook NM, Nelson RL, Ottman MJ, Raboy V, Sakai H, Sartor KA, Schwartz J, Seneweera S, Tausz M, Usui Y (2014) Increasing CO2 threatens human nutrition. Macmillan Publishers Ltd. doi: 10.1038/nature13179CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Thornton P (2012) Recalibrating food production in the developing world: global warming will change more than just the climate. CCAFS policy brief no. 6, CGIAR research program on climate change, agriculture and food security, Frederiksberg C, DenmarkGoogle Scholar
- Wani SP, Sreedevi TK, Marimuthu S, Rao AVRK, Vineela C (2009) Harnessing the potential of Jatropha and Pongamia Plantations for improving livelihoods and rehabilitating degraded lands. In: 6th international biofuels conference, New Delhi, India, 4–5 Mar 2009Google Scholar