Integrating Climate Smart Agriculture into Feed the Future Activities: Introducing the CSA Framework
Earlier this month, Agrilinks hosted a very important webinar featuring USAID Bureau for Food Security’s (BFS) Chief Scientist, Rob Bertram, as he discussed the new USAID BFS strategy for incorporating Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA) into their portfolio of Feed the Future activities. Bertram was joined by other members of the BFS Climate-Smart Agriculture team, including Mark Visocky, Tatiana Pulido, Laura Schreeg, and Moffatt Ngugi, as they covered the new CSA Framework developed by BFS and fielded questions from practitioners participating in the webinar.
The framework itself outlines:
- The development policy context for CSA, including Executive Order #13677
- USAID’s working definition of CSA, including CSA objectives and aspirational principles
- CSA within the Feed the Future context
- Five focus areas for integrating CSA into Feed the Future activities
- Monitoring and evaluating progress through selected indicators
- Next steps for CSA integration into Feed the Future activities
The presentation concluded with a lively question and answer period. Many participants wanted to know more about farmer decision-making and adoption (or disadoption) of CSA interventions, an issue that also emerged during the public comment period for the framework. The BFS team weighed in and ended with a challenge:
“This is a [really] important point…We are not prescriptive. We do not decide what farmers do, and especially on these complex things…. But I think what we are trying to do is provide better information or more information and more choices…Farmers are going to make decisions based on their ultimate reality that they deal with on the ground. What we can try to do is build in approaches that serve their needs now, but also position them to be more resilient in the future.” – Rob Bertram
“I challenge you [all] to think of ways to make this adoptable by smallholders. And a lot of times, that means sitting down with the smallholder and really looking at their situation, understanding their situation, and getting their feedback on how things work, and then going back to the private sector, then going back to other donors and really trying to come up with a product that is most applicable to them.” – Mark Visocky
Did you tune into the webinar? Please let us know in the comment section below if you have any further thoughts or questions! And stay tuned as Agrilinks continues to release updates on the CSA approach.