Resilient Agricultural Practices
List of important shortcuts: Good Agricultural Practice (GAP); Good Management Practice (GMP); Climate-Resilient Agriculture (CRA); Integrated Production and Pest Management (IPPM) program; Farmer Field School (FFS); Global Environmental Facility (GEF); Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD); Passive Sampling Device (PSD); Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); Integrating Food Security, Environment and Resilience (SDG2); Social-Ecological System (SES).
Resilient Agricultural Practices (RAP) – is a crucial component to food security and sustainable food systems in developing countries. The resilience of the agricultural value chains, in the context of developing countries, is very important for the agricultural supply chain with regard to the overall resilience of the food system. It looks at how to balance between producing food, managing natural resources, dealing with uncertainty, and providing a livelihood base for the rural population. It goes beyond the technical sphere and enters the role and involvement of public, private, and civil entities to include social, economic, environmental, and political aspects (Van Apeldoorn et al. 2011; Himes-Cornell and Hoelting 2015; Swiderska et al. 2016).
Agricultural economists were interested in defining the key dimensions of the functioning of a food system, which directly affects the well-being of people and entire societies just in the early 1960s (Brandow 1977). Over the years, there has been a consensus on many dimensions of farming, including product diversity, price efficiency, technical progress, technological progress, and social justice (Jesse 1978; Biggs et al. 2015). Resilient Agricultural Practices (RAP) identify seven principles that contribute to the resilience of the Social-Ecological System (SES), addressing the theory of supply chain management, and present their application in agricultural value chains. The key element is that the accuracy of these principles is important for the assessment of each case individually and depends partly on the trade-offs between resistance and other dimensions of the value chain. Two common tools are integrated, the Resilience Alliance assessment framework and value chain analysis techniques to outline an adaptable participatory approach to assess the resilience of value chains in agriculture in developing countries (Van Apeldoorn et al. 2011; Simmons and Storms 2017; Vroegindewey and Hodbod 2018). The goal of this approach is to consolidate awareness of past and potential distortions that may affect the food security and other basic services provided by the value chain and identify improvements that can build resistance to these key distortions (Biggs et al. 2015). New challenges related to population growth, political conflicts, climate change, and degradation of natural resources may increase the frequency and magnitude of disturbances such as droughts, fires, floods, hurricanes, whirlwinds, rapid price increases, food availability, and food distribution (Hodbod and Eakin 2015; Simmons and Storms 2017; Srinivasrao et al. 2018). These shocks are often unpredictable, which limits the possibilities of standard risk management, which is aimed at estimating the probability and the effects of distortions (Vroegindewey and Hodbod 2018). Understanding the resilience of the nutritional system to these shocks is now probably the most urgent for developing countries, where the vulnerability to such disruptions is much higher than in developed countries and food and nutrition security is very weak (FAO et al. 2017; Srinivasrao et al. 2018). Developing countries are also very dependent on the agri-food sector, as well as on jobs, household incomes, and economic growth (Vroegindewey and Hodbod 2018). As part of sustainable development, resilience has therefore become a very important concept that allows the analysis of various compromises to move the system toward more sustainable economies. Therefore, there is a growing need for both design and management that can give triple benefits, social, economic, and environmental, which in turn means the sustainable development (Srinivasrao et al. 2018). The ability of food systems to cope with social, economic, and environmental change is crucial, not only at the level of agricultural production but in the entire value chain for agriculture. These are a set of measures to create value, transforming raw materials into final products and institutions that combine these different production links. As the main intermediary between agroecological systems, households and markets are value chains as an important part of the structure of the food systems of a society (Vroegindewey and Hodbod 2018). The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has worked with over 200,000 farmers in West Africa since 2001 to create more efficient farming systems through the Integrated Production and Pest Management (IPPM) program. The approach was based on the Farmer Field School (FFS), a participating social educational method, combining the principles of agricultural practice with community development, nonformal education, agroecology, and adaptive ecosystem management. The FFS approach operates on all scales – from small communities to regions and countries – while focusing attention to small farmers, entities most involved in daily activities in agriculture (Anonymous 2017; Vroegindewey et al. 2018; Meuwissen et al. 2018). This program helps farmers understand how agricultural practices can complement and build or challenge and destroy the biological processes and services of ecosystems, on which their production systems are built. The program seeks to answer how the objectives of improved production and profit can complement each other and are not necessarily contradictory to the objectives of improving the human health and the environment, social justice, and quality of life. The result of this program is better management and decision-making by better qualified and more competent farmers. The IPPM program does not propose to replace more conventional implementation systems, but rather intends to act as a “facilitator” and exchange platform to connect the entire existing “mosaic” of stakeholders, regardless of the national context (Vroegindewey et al. 2018). The IPPM program runs active projects in several West African countries and new projects in Eastern and Southern Africa. The program evolves each year to cover a wider range of topics and broaden partnerships with governments, NGOs, farmers’ organizations, research institutions, and business partners. The “learning by doing” approach adopted by the IPPM program ensures the risk-free discussions, selections, modifications, as well as experiments with new ideas for the management of agriculture. The IPPM program focuses on training local farmers as advisors, “facilitators,” because it offers the best method of anchoring the program’s approach to the rural community. It also leads to a higher level of success, which means that farmers are motivated to return home and share their knowledge and skills. In Africa, IPPM implements projects at the regional and national level, helping various farming communities to improve productivity and increase livelihoods using environmentally sustainable practices. The objectives of the program are achieved there due to a number of activities that currently cover ten countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, Tanzania, and Zambia (Anonymous 2017). IPPM also contributes to global initiatives such as the “Better global management for hunger reduction” program, funded by the European Union and FAO, to address global issues that affect the food security and to improve the coordination of all partners.
Adaptation to Climate Change
The Climate-Resilient Agriculture (CRA) concept reflects the ambition to improve the integration of agricultural development and respond to climate change. Its aim is to achieve the food security and wider development goals in the conditions of a changing climate and growing demand for food. CRA initiatives in a sustainable way increase productivity and resistance of plants and animals and reduce greenhouse gases (GHG). However, they require planning to solve problems and synergy between three pillars: productivity, adaptation, and mitigation (FAO 2010, 2013, 2016; FAO et al. 2017; WRI 2017). The resistance framework explained in this work is based on the concept of adaptation cycles (Holling and Gunderson 2002) as heuristics. They represent various stages (growth, balance, collapse, and reorientation), through which systems pass in response to the changing environment and internal dynamics (Fath et al. 2015). Most analyses of agricultural production systems limited their conceptual vision to the phases of growth and balance and neglected the possibility of a breakdown and a phase of reorientation. As a result, the stages of breakdown and reorientation have been included in the framework of reflection. Priorities of different countries and stakeholders are reflected in the objective of achieving more efficient, effective, and fair food systems that address societal, economic, and environmental challenges. Although this concept is new and is constantly evolving, many practices that make up the CRA already exist all over the world and are used by farmers to cope with different risks associated with food production (AFA 2015; Grosjean et al. 2017). Governments at risk of major climate change have taken important steps to address vulnerability to climate change and their impact through economic, social, and environmental policies and the institutional framework that focuses on food security, resilience building, and disaster risk reduction. Different CRA practices are applied by small farmers in aquaculture systems (e.g., mangrove restoration and improvement of fish stocks), in animal husbandry systems (e.g., biogas and composting and alternative feeding systems), in the production of vegetables (adaptive calendars for crops and organic farming), in integrated agricultural systems (agroforestry, soil, and water protection), as well as in maize and rice crops (use of stress-tolerant cultivars and integrated crop management) (Global Forest Watch 2017). However, the use of CRA practices in many countries is still low and limited by poor access to improved seed, insufficient financial resources to cover investment costs and limited service resources (AFA 2015; EIU 2017). Land ownership and lease systems also affect the level of investments in agriculture and forestry as well as other sustainable forms of agriculture in small entities. Investments in water management and irrigation infrastructure, seed systems, and extension services are keys to eliminating the yield gaps, especially in a context where weather is predicted to be more changing and unpredictable with increased and more intense climate shocks. An increasing number of IPPM projects are financed under the Global Environmental Facility, projects implemented in Mali and Nigeria as well as pipelines in Senegal and Burundi (Anonymous 2017). These projects pose the greatest challenge for the development of agriculture in the region and require a combination of all the experience acquired within the IPPM program.
Protection of Arable Land
Intensive cultivation in developing countries has caused the soil degradation (e.g., erosion, changes in cultivation, and depletion of nutrients), affecting the agricultural productivity as well as ecosystem services (Carpenter et al. 2001; Briones 2005; Dostatny 2013). Changes in the use of arable land are closely related to changes in forest cover in the country. The general logging has contributed to a radical reduction in forest cover over the years, with an annual loss rate of around 3% (FAO et al. 2017). The most lowland forests in Southeast Asia continue to be transformed into high-yielding plantations (Stibig et al. 2007; AFA 2015; FAO et al. 2017). It caused a significant erosion of soils in the highlands and loss of their biodiversity. As a result of tightening the policy governing the clearing of forests, the rate of deforestation is slowly decreasing in recent years (Swiderska et al. 2016; SOFA 2016). In Africa, another problem with the land and its use is growing, where large-scale land acquisition is widespread. In 2000, Africa became a “starting point” after global concerns about food security and fuel supplies. The land, with its available water potential, was acquired by a group of private and public entities, including the sovereign African governments. Large-scale arable land was purchased to the detriment of local communities. There are growing tensions with local communities that suffer from deprivation of land and natural resources, especially where there are no transfer mechanisms or compensation. “Green catching,” justified on environmental grounds, also affects local livelihoods and food security (Batterbury and Ndi 2018).
Landscape Protection and Biodiversity Maintenance
The biodiversity of rural areas is created by arable crops and livestock, as well as wild plants and animals. It is also influenced by microflora and microfauna and soil mesofauna, which is an important factor conditioning the fertility of soils. Although there are 20–200 thousand of edible plant species in the world, only three of them (rice, maize, and wheat) cover the majority of human energy demand (FAO 2010, 2016). The extensive use of such a small number of species carries the risks associated with the massive appearance of pests and pathogens of crop plants. Intensive cultivation, usually in monocultures, of high-yielding species also involves environmental hazards that result from the application of high doses of mineral fertilizers and chemical plant protection agents often based on the same active substances, which promotes the immunization of pests. The cultivation of various species guarantees the availability of a wide range of products and is able to ensure the food security while limiting the threat to the natural environment. Genetic diversity preserved by native agricultural knowledge and practices can be an excellent, valuable source of information for improving food security and adapting to climate change. Such practices can significantly increase the productivity, income, and resistance of plants and animals in harsh environmental conditions (Swiderska et al. 2016; Pszczółkowski et al. 2017). Segetal vegetation, acting as a producer in an ecosystem, determines the species abundance of higher organisms, including birds. The availability of weed seeds is important, especially for wintering birds. Intensification of crops accompanied by chemical weed control contributes to a reduction in the number of bird species associated with the agricultural landscape (Staniak et al. 2017). The benefits of high biodiversity are determined by the term “ecosystem services,” i.e., a set of producers and ecosystem services used by a society. These are supply services (production of food, biofuels, wood, water, etc.), regulatory services (maintenance of soil fertility, natural plant protection, pollination), supportive services (circulation of elements in chemical and water, habitat function), and cultural services (recreational, aesthetic, and educational functions) (Salami et al. 2010; Stalęga et al. 2016). These services are provided by various components of the ecosystem, including weeds. Therefore, farmers, through the appropriate agrotechnics, can have the greatest impact on the biological diversity of segetal flora (Scheffer et al. 2015; Barbaś and Sawicka 2016). Landscape diversity is important for farmers. Due to the spread of the idea of sustainable and ecological agriculture, weeds have been perceived not only as competitors of arable crops but also as an element increasing the biodiversity in agrocenoses (Marshall et al. 2003). Currently, instead of completely eliminating weeds, it is aimed at limiting their number to a level that does not significantly reduce the yield, taking into account the so-called harmfulness threshold (Feledyn-Szewczyk and Kopiński 2015). Benefits of preserving the biodiversity are difficult to record in a short period of time; therefore the idea of protecting the diversity of weeds accompanying crop plants does not always meet the farmers’ approval, although in the long term, it may bring environmental benefits (Stalęga et al. 2016).
CRA Technologies and Practices
CRA technologies and practices provide an opportunity to meet the challenges of climate change as well as economic growth and development of the agricultural sector. One of the goals of the CRA is adaptation and/or mitigation of the effects of climate change. Hundreds of technologies and approaches around the world are covered by CRA (FAO 2013, 2016; Grosjean et al. 2017; Vroegindewey and Hodbod 2018). The use of stress-tolerant varieties (flood, salinity, drought, and heat tolerance), as well as water collection technologies (e.g., small water retention projects, alternative wetting and drying, drip irrigation) and integrated crop management (e.g., Integrated Production and Pest Management (IPPM) program, specific nutrient management), is common among rice growers in western (wet zone) and centrals (humid-wet zone) regions of the Philippines and among corn growers in the wet and humid zone. Although CRA practice can bring significant benefits in the form of increased revenues and yields, resistance to climate shocks and variations, as well as emission limitations, many farmers are not motivated to invest, in agroforestry systems due to the uncertainty of land ownership. Farmers cultivating vegetables, e.g., in the wet-humid zone and wet zone, use adaptive crop calendars, corrected planting and harvesting schedules, and other critical periods, based on weather forecasts and stress-tolerant varieties (e.g., drought, salinity) due to low investment costs that these practices require. Organic farming is also practiced by a minority of farmers cultivating vegetables, mainly due to the small number of consumers of such food and the lack of available plant protection products and organic fertilizers. Although such treatments can be easily done by the farmers themselves, however, considerable technical support is needed to improve their shelf life and efficiency. Most agricultural practices are accepted (implemented) by small farmers (Salami et al. 2010; WIR 2017; Vroegindewey and Hodbod 2018). In the Philippines, activities related to the cultivation of pines (e.g., fish production in afforestation areas of mangrove), organic aquaculture (e.g., approach to sustainable development), and joint storage and reclamation of fish (e.g., enrichment of fish stocks) by some small farmers are also undertaken in the wet-humid zone and in the wet-moist zone. These practices are mainly related to the management of climate risk, but also have a significant positive impact on farm incomes and the sustainable development of fish production. However, the level of implementation (adoption) of such CRA technologies in the field of aquaculture remains low due to insufficient access to technology and capacity building (e.g., local mangrove species and natural sources of feed ingredients). The application of CRA practices in Asia is also limited by low availability of improved varieties and seeds (Briones 2014; Himes-Cornell and Hoelting 2015; Grosjean et al. 2017).
Reducing the Risk Connected with Pesticides
Raise awareness of the application of toxic pesticides in agriculture, and promote alternative solutions.
Assess the current level and risk of pesticide use.
Improve legislation on pesticides and registration systems.
Support the implementation of best practices set out in the International Code of Conduct for the Management of Pesticides.
Adopt or develop new tools that can help monitor pesticides in the environment and assess potential negative impacts on key indicators of biodiversity as well as on human health.
Train farmers in the field of integrated protection, which also advises on how to avoid commercial pressure on the application of pesticides.
The multidisciplinary project “Reducing dependence on persistent organic pollutants and other agrochemicals in the Senegal and Niger basins through integrated management of production, pests and contaminants” (EP/INT/606/GEF) is the first major attempt to comprehensively monitor the application of pesticides in agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa. It also continues the work of IPPM, the aim of which is to build safe, efficient, and sustainable agricultural systems through agricultural schools. Previously, as part of the project carried out in 2009–2014, basic research on pesticides and water pollution was carried out (Himes-Cornell and Hoelting 2015; Anonymous 2017). The project is piloting a new technology for the first time in Africa, called the “Passive Sampling Device” (PSD), which adsorbs chemicals after immersing in a stainless steel cage for about 2 weeks. A plan for ensuring the quality of sampling and analysis was also developed, which can also be used in other laboratories. PSDs have been deployed in six African countries along the Senegal and Niger rivers that have detected pesticide residues, including several POPs. In other studies, the most modern computer model called ipmPRiME was applied, which was adapted for the use in West Africa. This model is an environmental risk assessment tool and uses farmers’ pesticide surveys to provide quantitative risk estimates for key groups of indicators of aquatic and terrestrial species as well as risk indicators for human health (Anonymous 2017).
To facilitate farmers the adoption of alternative practices that limit or eliminate the application of toxic pesticides without loss of performance, a balanced intensification through joint IPPM/FFS operations is applied. The project is based on a proven approach to integrated production and pest management (IPPM) (Anonymous 2018a). IPPM creates incentives for farmers to eliminate the application of hazardous pesticides for alternative low-toxicity measures and, at the same time, conducts practical training to improve broad agronomic practices, helping them increase the yields, improve production profitability, and increase economic and environmental flexibility (Stalęga et al. 2016).
The field-level stress management by means of microorganisms is used as a springboard for new applications in agriculture. The range of applications includes phyto-microbials in maintaining the production of biofuel plants, impact of agriculture on the composition of soil microbial communities and diversity, microalgae, photosynthetic microorganisms and bioenergetic perspectives, mitigating the abiotic stress in plants due to the multi-aspect beneficial microorganisms, methylotrophic bacteria in mitigating the climate change, protecting the agriculture for resilience to climate change, mycorrhizal plants that help in dealing with environmental threats, endophytic microorganisms, Bacillus thuringiensis, and microbiological nanotechnology for agriculture resistant to climate change (Kashyap et al. 2018; Umachandran et al. 2018). Effective microorganisms (EMs) have great potential for biological interaction due to specialized enzymes that have the ability to transform nuisance chemicals into useful forms. Effective microorganisms send signals to plants that prepare them for early repulsion of a pathogen attack and help in the production of disaccharides, which is, trehalose having the ability to protect the whole plant when it is under the stress of drought or is in a high salinity environment. Trehalose prevents from the formation of crystals in water, because hydrogen bonds are formed, and its dried aqueous solutions form a glaze, which is an ideal compound in protecting plants against drought and high temperatures (Sawicka and Umachandran 2017). Plant extracts are also a valuable source of bioactive nutrients and show great potential for growth and development of plants, protecting them from biotic and abiotic stress. The interest in plant extracts is constantly growing due to the tendencies of sustainable agriculture, which are primarily guided by environmental protection (Pszczółkowski and Sawicka 2018a). Much attention is also devoted to preparations based on natural substances and the possibility of their use in the cultivation of plants. Materials are sought for, the extracts of which can act as biostimulators and plant protection products and can be used as ingredients of “natural” fertilizers (Tamizhazhagan et al. 2017; Pszczółkowski and Sawicka 2018a). Their operation depends, however, on the type of crop, soil, and environmental conditions (Kashyap et al. 2018; Pszczółkowski and Sawicka 2018b). Therefore, considering the sustainable development of agriculture, a review of biofertilizers, effective microorganisms, and plant extracts and their role in agriculture was made. There is a further need for better agricultural practices and the use of ecological methods for sustainable crop production. In this context, Trichoderma species can be model fungi to maintain crop yields. Currently, they are widely used as modifiers for biocontrol, biofertilization, and phytostimulation. They also improve the efficiency of photosynthesis, increase the uptake of nutrients, and increase the efficiency of nitrogen utilization in crops (Kashyap et al. 2017). In addition, they can be used to produce bioenergy, help plants adapt, and mitigate the negative effects of climate change (Pszczółkowski and Sawicka 2018b). Technological advancement in the field of high-performance DNA sequencing and biotechnology has provided a deep insight into the complex and diverse biotic interactions established in nature by Trichoderma spp. Efforts are being made to translate this knowledge into increased crop growth, disease resistance, and tolerance to abiotic stress under field conditions. Discovery of several traits and genes that are involved in the beneficial effects of Trichoderma spp. resulted in better understanding of the field activity and would lead to a more efficient use of these strains and possibly to their improvement by genetic modification (Swiderska et al. 2016). This gives grounds for explaining the molecular basis of plant growth promotion and defense activation by Trichoderma spp., gathering broad perspectives on their functioning and application in relation to agriculture exposed to a climate change (Kashyap et al. 2017; Noaema et al. 2018). In the context of agricultural pest management, biological pesticides are best suited for use in the production of organic food in industrialized countries, but can play a much larger role in the production and protection of food in developing countries. Botanical plants have been used for a long time to control pests. These compounds offer many environmental benefits. The improvement of the understanding of plant mechanisms of allelochemical activity creates new possibilities of using these substances in plant protection (El-Wakeil 2013).
Trends in Smallholder Agriculture
The economy of small agriculture continues to play a key role in African and Asian agriculture. The trends, challenges, and opportunities of this sub-sector in the East of Africa were studied by Salami et al. (2010), through case studies from Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, and Tanzania, and by Grosjean et al. (2017) in Asia, in the Philippines. In these economies, based on agriculture, small farms account for about 75% of agricultural production and provide over 75% of employment. However, the contribution of small agriculture and agriculture in general to rapid growth in the region in recent years has been limited. Instead, the increase was driven by services, especially in trade. There are weak institutions at the national level; the access to markets and loans is also limited. These factors, including insufficient infrastructure, limit the increase in the efficiency of a small farm. The necessary measures to improve the performance of small farmers include ease of access to land and training measures to improve skills and encourage farmers to adopt new technologies and technical, technological, and biological innovations as well as remove obstacles to trade. At the regional and global level, however, international barriers to trade should be addressed (Barrett et al. 2010; OECD 2017).
Supply Chain in Agriculture
In recent years, there has been increasing interest in the assessment and construction of the resilient system of the food system. Three assessment points were adopted. The first concerns the national or regional scale of the food system (Hodbod and Eakin 2015). One of the advantages of adopting such a large analytical unit is that it facilitates a holistic view of the set of subsystems and scales that together must achieve and maintain food system services and compromises within and between scales. Other authors have adopted a second point of view, examining the flexibility of households, their close relatives, or local agroecological systems, usually focusing on trade-offs between agriculture and other activities related to food security and maintenance. Immunity assessment indicators have been proposed at the level of the farm or agricultural rural community (Barrett et al. 2010). Rural community is an appropriate focal scale to analyze flexibility, because of the direct social and ecological ties that are on this scale, as well as because farmers are perceived as the most vulnerable to stress, shocks, and threats. The third point is the value chain, which can also be understood as a complex socio-ecological system, because it “contains many complex environmental, social, political, and economic factors, including accessibility and use” and covers various spatial, temporal, and institutional scales as well as compromises between them (Biggs et al. 2015). The supply chain system in agriculture has two aspects. The first aspect, so-called “value supply” chain, is a resource used by agricultural enterprises and agribusiness companies (processors, traders, retailers, and wholesalers) for production and trade. The resources of companies include their physical, financial, and human capital, as well as the ability to conduct complex production and operational tasks (Staatz and Ricks 2010). The second aspect is made up of institutions that manage the use and flow of capital resources and coordinate all activities throughout the supply chain. It includes coordination structures that regulate interactions between enterprises within a given supply chain segment, such as producer organizations (farmers) (Vroegindewey et al. 2018). It also includes vertical coordination structures that govern the company’s interactions in various segments, such as bilateral agreements between enterprises, and even wider structures coordinating many links in the chain, such as councils participating in supply chains or commodity associations (Staatz and Ricks 2010).
Resilience of System Components
The three SES principles focus on the properties of the system elements that enhance resilience to climate change (Hodbod and Eakin 2015). First, maintaining the diversity and redundancy of system components (e.g., keeping many farmers, processors, or distributors in the dairy supply chain and commercialization of many processed dairy product lines) provides substitutes for components that can fail in the face of disruptions and rapid climate change. Second, connectivity management between components of the supply system can facilitate the flow and reduce the spread of disruptions. Infrastructure links, such as roads, and telephone communication by a network of mobile phones facilitate the flow of goods and information when determining the acquisition of products. Identification systems in obtaining the raw milk can help to quickly identify and limit the spread of quality problems. The third principle is to identify key variables and feedbacks that interact to manage them. It is based on the first two principles, because it will depend on the type of changes, in which the system components take place, e.g., whether milk production increases, decreases, or is stable, as well as the relationship between components and entities, i.e., the relationship between milk productivity and investment in the processing of milk. Two principles often refer to the structure of supply chain components. The first is to keep the components flexible to take different positions and adapt operations to changing requirements with minimal time and effort. Flexibility can be linked to the principle of diversity, as it arises when food chain actors depend on human resources, products, the number of suppliers and buyers, and sources of income (Simmons and Storms 2017; Srinivasrao et al. 2018; Vroegindewey and Hodbod 2018).
Still changing climate is affecting the plant production in a negative way, and its impact on agriculture is currently becoming the main priority in developing countries. Agriculture resistant to climate change is the need of the moment in many parts of the world. Understanding the negative effects of climate change and their impact on growth and development of plants as well as development of strategies to counteract these effects is of great importance for sustainable agriculture, resilient to climate change. Were presents solid, climate-resistant agricultural strategies that have strong foundations in basic research. Fundamental rules are presented, compliance of which will ensure safety on the one hand (both for consumers and farmers) at the stage of raw material production and, on the other hand, will ensure the quality of raw material for further processing stages. The combination of farmers and processors in the production and marketing of safe food is aimed at ensuring the consumer safety. At present, there are foundations for the protection of limited natural resources by implementing appropriate agricultural practices with the promise of a sustainable future. The role of Resilient Agricultural Practices (RAP) focuses on seven priority areas that can broadly be divided into the following categories: (Anonymous 2017) combating pests and plant diseases; (Anonymous 2018a) control of cross-border animal diseases (TAD); (Anonymous 2018b) food security and information systems about natural resources, disaster risk management, and policy development; (Asian Farmers’ Association for Sustainable Rural Development (AFA) 2015) generating new jobs and employment in rural and suburban areas; (Barbaś and Sawicka 2016) agricultural production; (Barrett et al. 2010) management of natural resources; and (Batterbury and Ndi 2018) food safety and nutrition.
Achieving food security, sustainable development, and resilience through the use of genetic diversity and indigenous knowledge.
Preserving the genetic diversity of seeds, arable crops, farmed and domesticated animals, and their related wild species, grazing, fishery, or forest resources.
Getting more support for the innovations and practices of the natives, so as not to lose the genetic diversity and knowledge they possess, with the same priority for preserving and improving the resistance of local ecotypes, species, and varieties, through the community, seed banks, community-managed landscapes, active plant breeding, and market links for traditional products.
Increasing the productivity of crop species and animals, especially in marginal areas already affected by climate change, without causing loss of genetic diversity for future generations. Local species and varieties are often more resistant to drought and pests than their modern counterparts, as well as more valuable and more nutritious.
Ensuring sustainable production and implementation of resilient farming practices to help maintain ecosystems, strengthen adaptability to climate change and extreme events, and improve the quality of arable land and undeveloped agricultural soils.
Risk diversification and management. Many farmers, in developing countries, have started cultivating different varieties of the same species together, including resistant local varieties, to reduce the risk of crop failure. In Kenya, hybrid, improved, and traditional varieties of corn and manioc were planted, which reduced the yield decrease. Domesticated wild and medicinal trees were tamed to mitigate climate change and increase their income.
Soil and water protection. In the Potato Park, micro-water tanks that combine traditional technology of obtaining water (aruna) with modern materials and techniques ensure the availability of water for irrigation and consumption. New composting techniques have improved soil fertility and humidity, resulting in higher yields and efficient water use. Reintroduction of traditional cultivation and fertilization techniques to reduce soil erosion. Restoring traditional intercrop crops to improve soil fertility and composition.
Aerating the soil by plowing and adding manure, which increases its ability to retain water. Planting trees with nitrogen binding in food crops, which improves soil fertility and increases crop production.
Natural pest control. Traditional techniques combining, e.g., organic cultivation of rice with the production of ducks and fish provide natural pest control. Reintroduction of traditional biopesticides using herbs and chili.
As a result of developing the high technologies in agriculture, forestry, and fisheries, most countries in the world began to pay more attention to reliability in food production and food consumption safety (Global Forest Watch 2017). For this reason, many initiatives have been carried out in an international context. The CRA practices provide an opportunity to meet the challenges of climate change as well as economic growth and development of the agricultural sector. The most important goal of CRA is to mitigate the effects of climate change. Many technologies and approaches around the world involve CRA. The application of stress-tolerant varieties (flood, salting, drought, tolerance to high or low temperatures), as well as water collection technologies (small water retention projects, wetting and drying, drip irrigation) and integrated crop management (e.g., against pests (IPPM), specific management of nutrients). The word “resilience” is used very often. It is expected that one should retrospectively understand the dynamics of sustainable development in various agricultural systems and decision-makers should actively identify differentiated features, i.e., strategies for increasing the resilience in farming systems, depending on the risk associated with available natural resources.
- Anonymous (2017) Building resilient agricultural systems through farmer field schools. Integrated Production and Pest Management Programme (IPPM). http://www.fao.org/3/a-i4411e.pdf
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