Photo credit: CIAT
Residents of Ma village face multiple climate challenges.
Farmers debate their options in a changing climate
by Georgina Smith
From cold snaps to intense rainfall, changing weather in the last two decades has not gone unnoticed by residents of Ma climate-smart village in Vietnam’s Yen Bai province. But weighing up options to adapt to changes and build resilience on village farms is not straight-forward.
“This water used to be a stream flowing from the mountains,” said one farmer, pointing to a small patch of water among the green rice fields. “Now because of soil erosion and water scarcity, it’s just a pond.”
He rattles off a list of other changes over the years: declining soil fertility, deforestation and extreme heat followed by cold snaps affecting crop yields of rice, cassava and other crops.
Farmers need to adapt by changing what they grow or the way they cultivate the land. But being “locked in” to local markets – for cassava, fish or timber for example – requires changes within a wider, dynamic context.
Read the full article: CIAT Blog
Photo credit: Food Tank
Students work on a rice paddy as part of the Green Shoots Foundation’s Food & Agriculture and Social Entrepreneurship initiative.
Photo by: Mike Kear
Growing A Future: The Green Shoots Foundation Works to Empower Cambodian Youth through Agriculture
The Green Shoots Foundation (GSF) works in six different countries throughout Asia, including Cambodia, the Philippines, Myanmar, Vietnam, and Kyrgyzstan. GSF’s work, along with programs targeting healthcare and education, include a dynamic initiative developed over the last few years, called the Food & Agriculture and Social Entrepreneurship (FASE) program. Two projects currently underway in Cambodia are gaining momentum and recognition in the region for their unique combination of agriculture, peer education, and community building. Head of Monitoring& Evaluation for GSF, Muneezay Jaffery, highlights the ways in which these FASE initiatives are engaging young people in an effort to secure the future of sustainable agriculture in rural communities in Southeast Asia.
The two most noteworthy programs are targeted at educating rural communities about the immediate and long-term benefits of sustainable agriculture. The first, in North West Cambodia, Jaffery explains is “assisting with the management of a 5.5 hectare rice field for an education center run by local partners Enfants du Mekong.” Despite initial skepticism from the local farmers, GSF and local partner, Enfants du Mekong have demonstrated the real-time value of sustainable agricultural practices, which Jaffery describes as “mixed cropping/co-cultivation” and “integrated pest management”. Through the use of these sustainable practices, GSF’s rice field is producing increasingly tremendous yields, which is surprising local farmers and inspiring more involvement from community members. These yields not only provide opportunities for education, as Cambodian youth learn about how to use natural farming methods, but also provide the chance for young people to experiment with agricultural entrepreneurship and how to manage agriculture-based business.
Read the full article: Food Tank
Photo credit: FAO
Farmers dry rice on the road to Hon Don in Vietnam.
New report touts agrocorridors as economic driver
FAO highlights ways large-scale development plans can foster inclusive, sustainable and transformative rural growth
Rome – Economic “agrocorridors” can be a strategic tool to draw private capital and large-scale investment to projects that benefit smallholder farmers and boost food security in lower-income countries, according to a new FAO report that provides guidance on how development planners can avoid pitfalls.
These corridors, according to the report, are development programmes that foster promising economic sectors – notably agriculture in developing countries – in a territory connected by lines of transportation like highways, railroads, port or canals.
The strength of this approach is its integration of investments, policy frameworks and local institutions.
“The key idea is not just to make transportation or irrigation infrastructure improvements but to provide a platform that enables and empowers authorities at local, national and regional levels to make more informed decisions about what they want to achieve,” says FAO agribusiness economist Eva Gálvez Nogales, author of “Making economic corridors work for the agricultural sector.”
Read the full article: FAO