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Climate-smart agriculture requires three-pronged global research agenda


Faced with climate change and diminishing opportunities to expand productive agricultural acreage, the world needs to invest in a global research agenda addressing farm and food systems, landscape and regional issues and institutional and policy matters if it is to meet the growing worldwide demand for food, fiber and fuel, suggests an international team of researchers.

In a paper appearing online in the journal Agriculture and Food Security, the authors summarize the findings of the second international Climate Smart Agriculture conference held in March 2013 at UC Davis.

“Climate-smart agriculture has become a global policy initiative for economic development, poverty reduction and food security,” says lead author Kerri Steenwerth, a U.S. Department of Agriculture soil scientist and adjunct professor in the UC Davis Department of Viticulture and Enology.

“It makes sense for farmers, consumers and food businesses because it is focused on the long-term sustainability of supply chains, and applies both to farmers’ fields and to the natural landscape,” she said.

The objectives recommended in the new paper set the stage for a stronger emphasis on moving knowledge into action and involving researchers in helping communities and societies to change and adapt.

Steenwerth has posted a blog entry about the paper on the Biomed Central blog. The blog and the paper were supported by the UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

A third global science conference on Climate-Smart Agriculture is scheduled to be held March 16-18, 2015 in Montpellier, France.

The other authors on the paper from UC Davis were: Louise Jackson, Amanda Hodson, Arnold Bloom, Michael Carter, Jan Hopmans, William Horwath, Bryan Jenkins, Ermias Kebreab, Mark Lubell, Samuel Sandoval Solis, Michael Springborn, Stephen Wheeler, and Lovell Jarvis.

Authors representing other institutions were Andrea Cattaneo and Leslie Lipper, both of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in Rome, Italy; Colin Chartres of the University of Canberra in Australia; Jerry Hatfield of the ARS/USDA National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment in Ames, Iowa; Kevin Henry of Colorado State University; Rik Leemans and Pablo Tittonell, both of Wageningen University, the Netherlands; Siwa Msangi of the International Food Policy Research Institute in Washington, D.C.; Ravi Prabhu of the World Agroforestry Center in Nairobi, Kenya; Matthew Reynolds of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research in Mexico; William Sischo of Washington State University; Sonja Vermeulen of the University of Copenhagen, Denmark; and Eva Wollenberg of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR).

Patricia Bailey | Eurek Alert!
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