Climate change is already impacting farmers around the world. Increasing temperatures, variable precipitation and more frequent and intense weather events will continue to challenge farmers' ability to feed a growing population. In light of climate and demographic challenges, actions and efforts to improve the sustainable performance of the agricultural sector are urgent.
There is a clear evidence of changes in planting and harvesting dates, declining crop yields, reduction in growing seasons, and increased animal diseases and pests, among others. Climate change makes our already precarious global food security situation even more unpredictable. Ironically, 60% of those classified as malnourished are food producers. Agriculture both contributes to and is vulnerable to climate change.
Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) has been touted as a method that will help farmers both adapt to a changing climate and to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions while boosting agriculture production. It integrates the three dimensions of sustainable development (economic, social and environmental) by jointly addressing food security and climate challenges composed of three pillars: 1. Sustainably increasing agricultural productivity and incomes; 2. Adapting and building resilience to climate change; 3. Reducing and/or removing greenhouse gas emissions, where possible.
India is one of the worst affected countries by the climate change. The trends point to increasing frequency of weather events that make farm incomes vulnerable and unpredictable. It is also a threat to food and nutrition security of an emerging India that consumes food in larger quantity and variety. Traditional response to the challenge will not be adequate any more. The need is to explore and debate the most critical aspects of CSA that will have a far reaching impact on fortunes of agriculture in India.
GAC 2017 has brought various technologies and innovations to the attention of stakeholders towards enabling their adoption and outreach. During the deliberations, it has emerged that the current ecosystem of agriculture research and praxis do offer several technologies and innovations, however, they either do not get adopted or do not reach scale owing to several reasons. GAC 2018 attempts to fill this void through bringing together cases of successful implementation of climate smart technologies for fruitful impact and deliberate on the way forward for lasting adoption.