General News of Friday, 5 September 2014
Climate-Smart Agriculture is an efficient and effective intervention for achieving food productivity and security objectives and development goals at the same time, even as the world struggles to contain the effects of climate change, says former President John Kufuor.
“Agriculture is now under sustained threat from Climate Change and hence the call for Climate-Smart Agriculture,” he noted in a panel discussion of the ‘Global Panel on Agriculture for Food Systems and Nutrition’ at the 2014 African Green Revolution Forum.
The ongoing Conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia is on the topic “Linking Climate Smart Agriculture and Nutrition Sensitive Agriculture”.
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, agriculture is both a victim and a culprit when it comes to climate change – agriculture contributes about 14% of the greenhouse gas emissions which cause climate change, and an additional 17% from deforestation and land degradation associated with uninformed agricultural and other practices.
Mr. Kufuor’s advocacy for climate-smart agriculture is to ensure that agricultural production and productivity are enhanced for food security and income-sustainability.
It is also to boost resilience of livelihoods and ecosystems as well as mitigate agriculture’s contribution to global warming.
“In practicing Climate-Smart Agriculture, the agricultural sector stands to capture synergies that exist among activities to develop more productive food systems, and improve natural resource management,” he said.
The former President who is also the UN Envoy on Climate Change noted that achieving the four dimensions of food security – availability of; access to food; utilization of food for adequate nutrition; and stability of food supply – must be the overall goal of food production and distribution systems.
This, he said, should involve policies on extension advice, enriched soils, improved seedlings, efficient irrigation systems, mechanization, marketing information, credit availability, the use of ICT, and information on nutrition science on how to prepare food so as not to destroy the nutrients in food.
“If food is taken to ensure nourishment, and agriculture is perceived to provide the food that humanity needs, then, the fundamental purpose of agricultural systems is to ensure proper nutritional outcomes,” said Mr. Kufour.
Therefore the time has come for Agriculture not only to be climate-smart, but also to be nutrition-smart.
“The conjunction of Climate-Smart and Nutrition-Smart Agriculture underpins sustainable food systems for improved quality of life of mankind,” he stated.