The Role of Climate-Smart Agriculture in Addressing Land Degradation – The Solutions Journal

In Brief

Land degradation has profound consequences for food and water security, poverty, mass migrations, and increased vulnerability of affected areas to climate change. It currently affects 1.5 billion people and could lead to the displacement of 135 million more people by 2045. Feeding the growing population will require ingenuity and innovation in producing food and managing land sustainably. Climate-smart agriculture (CSA) helps to address the problems of land degradation, food security, and climate change by sustainably increasing agricultural productivity and incomes; adapting and building resilience to climate change; and reducing greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture. CSA technological solutions include integrated soil fertility management, agroforestry, farmer-managed land restoration, conservation agriculture, rainwater harvesting, improved livestock management, and alternate wet and dry rice production systems. While CSA technologies and practices are generating significant benefits, their adoption often faces a variety of socioeconomic and institutional barriers. Urgent solutions for scaling up CSA include promoting nationally-owned climate smart agricultural policies to increase adoption of CSA technologies, increasing national investment to boost CSA, creating sustainable private-sector-led input markets, ensuring equitable access to land, and promoting inclusive and innovative knowledge management systems.

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