Climate smart agriculture: challenges and opportunities for a sustainable food production
Nowadays more than ever, agriculture must face a tough challenge. It is the most traditional of all productive activities and it has been through many evolutions and technological transformations over time with the aim to produce more and better. Nevertheless, it is now forced to re-think its role and adapt to a world that is changing.
Such new form of agriculture has captured the attention also of the international community and is supported by the United Nations and takes the name of “Climate Smart Agriculture: Agriculture in harmony with the climate and environment".
The planet’s population will reach 9 billion inhabitants by 2050 and the natural resources due to this huge growth will become scarce.
The major risks that can negatively influence many agricultural productive systems especially in the most vulnerable and poor areas of the world are:
- climate change
that could lead to:
Lack of water Lack of soil Extreme events
Therefore, there is an urgent need to transform agricultural production processes in a more sustainable way, allocating resources correctly and appropriately, reducing waste throughout all phases of the production chain. It is also important to make all productive systems resilient to climate change including both plant and animal systems, thus reducing vulnerability in favour of productivity. At the same time it is very important for agricultural systems, as for all other human productive systems, to be put in the position to contribute to the wellness of the climate by diminishing greenhouse gas and favouring the storage of carbon dioxide.
So, how can agriculture adapt to the challenges imposed by climate change?
It can develop new management techniques through the adoption of new technologies. It can also explore the cultivation and breeding of non-conventional species that are more adaptable to the ongoing climate change and also to our changing food needs by adopting a sustainable approach that is compatible with a respectful use of the planet’s resources. Such effort to achieve a “climate smart agriculture” cannot disregard the involvement of all actors, from the research system to technology, but it must also pressure political and economic systems so that they work to advantage everyone and benefit the planet. This is what the internationally recognized lecturers invited to the conference will talk about, sharing their experience and activities with the audience.