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‘Consider climate smart agri-adaptation programmes’

KABANDA CHULU, Lusaka
AFRICAN negotiators to the global climate change summit should not accept a deal that will not include climate smart agriculture (CSA) adaptation programmes, a consortium of civil society organisation has said.
CSA is agriculture that sustainably increases productivity, resilience, reduces greenhouse gases and enhances achievement of national food security and development goals.
The programme also promotes agricultural best practices, particularly integrated crop management, conservation agriculture, intercropping, improved seeds and fertiliser management practices as well as increased investment in agricultural research.
This is according to recommendations and key messages formulated after the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) organised regional workshop in Lusaka themed, ‘creating an enabling environment for scaling up CSA: Road to Paris’.
Climate change is emerging as a major challenge to agricultural development in Africa.
“CSA has been identified as offering triple wins for food security, adaptation and mitigation so, our message to United Nations Conference of Parties [COP 21] negotiators is that ‘no agriculture, no deal’ since the sector is important to African countries’ economies, and we want to see tailor-made climate financing mechanisms that should be separated from other forms of assistance to Africa,” it stated.
It states that policy making process should be based on real participation by all stakeholders affected by challenges arising from climate change.
“There is need also to strengthen rural advisory and extension services in Africa to support smallholder farmers with new technologies and research should take into account the important role that indigenous knowledge can play in increasing adoption of CSA,” it notes.
It recommends that the importance of consistency in training on the area of climate change/CSA will allow people to understand the sciences and complexities of it.
“Agricultural training and educational programmes should mainstream CSA in their curricula. There is need also to have specific CSA knowledge centres,” it says.

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