Feed the Future
This project is part of the U.S. Government's global hunger and food security initiative.

Weathering the Storm: Agrilinks Turns to Climate & Resilient Agriculture This May

This May, Agrilinks is teaming up with Climatelinks and the climate team at the USAID Bureau for Food Security to look at a set of critical issues facing today’s food producers: adapting to changing climate and weather patterns as well as mitigating the future risks of an uncertain climate.

Variability in temperature, rainfall and other weather and climatic conditions have always been a challenge for farmers, who must make decisions regarding what, when and how to plant based on conditions that are increasingly different from historical patterns. Increased seasonal variability can leave farmers unprepared for shocks during bad years and inhibit their ability to take advantage of good conditions during favorable years. As this Climatelinks blog discusses, the availability and application of reliable, geographicall-specific resources such as forecasts on temperature, precipitation and extreme weather events  collectively known as climate services - allow farmers to reduce these risks. Climate services can also inform resource management decisions made by other producers, such as pastoralists, foresters and fishers.

Access to weather and climate information and services is helping producers build resilience to adverse climate phenomena such as drought, floods, heat waves and extreme weather events. This month, we will look at initiatives working to get timely, actionable information to food producers. We will also look at the gender dimensions of climate change as well as the importance and challenges of reaching women and other vulnerable populations with such information.

Climate risk management is an important tool for safeguarding development gains in the face of climate threats to food security. Learn more about USAID’s approach to assessing and addressing climate risk in new strategies, projects and activities to facilitate resilience to both current and future climates, and learn about geographically-specific climate risks to the agriculture sector within the regional and country Climate Risk Profiles.

Agriculture isn’t passively affected by greenhouse gas emissions contributing to climate change — it also contributes to it. In developing countries, 47 percent of emissions are caused by agriculture and related land use change. This series of case studies looks at how low-emission practices can not only mitigate climate change but also contribute to food security. Learn more about low-emissions agriculture here.

Research and development has an important role to play in ensuring that today’s agriculture will be resilient to tomorrow’s climate challenges. The Feed the Future Innovation Labs are helping develop climate-resilient crops and livestock that tolerate hotter climates and more saline soils, better withstand drought, and resist pests and diseases that will likely spread to new and larger areas in a changing climate. They are also seeking to increase nitrogen-use efficiency in working with crops such as legumes, which biologically enhance soil fertility, reduce the need for fertilizer and, in turn, reduce emissions.

USAID is working to take the best and most relevant climate-smart solutions to the field and helping farmers successfully adopt them. This brief provides a framework for climate-smart agriculture (CSA) in Feed the Future programming. Expand your knowledge about CSA through this self-guided training, then explore more from Agrilinks on the topic here.

We look forward to hearing from you this month on your experiences with weather, climate and resilient agriculture!