Appropriate climate smart technologies for smallholder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa

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 (CSA) has been identified as an alternative that can increase agricultural productivity in the region, while at the same time mitigating the multiple effects of climate change. This policy brief gives the following key messages:

  • Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) offers an integrated and systemic response to the combined challenges of food security, adaptation and adoption of smallholder farming practices, and natural resource conservation

  • policy responses to climate change should identify and support out-scaling of known best practices and technologies for smallholder farmers

  • appropriate measures and practices (e.g above three) are available that optimise soil and water conservation at farm level. They may underpin sustainable smallholder productivity across ecologies

  • policymakers need to work more collaboratively with implementers in national and local extension services and farmers’ organisations to better understand and overcome barriers to wider adoption of key technologies

  • better targeting of finance and investment for farmer‐generated climate change responses requires deeper understanding of adaptation and mitigation benefits that come from sustainable agricultural technologies

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