Ensuring climate-smart agriculture ‘leaves no one behind’

Authors Schaafsma, M.; Bell, A.
Year of Publication 2018
Type of Publication Policy and Practice Brief


Climate-smart agriculture (CSA) approaches will be necessary to secure food production across Africa as the effects of climate change are increasingly felt.

Can these approaches also help lift the poorest farmers out of poverty?

Key messages of this policy brief include:

• CSA has the potential to contribute to environmental sustainability. But it does not necessarily bring improvements in wellbeing.

• For CSA to work for poor farmers and the environment, it should be harmonised and coordinated with policies and measures that contribute to poverty reduction and influence wellbeing.

• Scaling up CSA with poverty alleviation at its core demands a holistic perspective. Collaborative partnerships that keep farmers central to decision-making and are inclusive of women and marginalised groups are important.

• Better and more information about CSA is needed at all levels, from communities to ministries, to inform policy-making and interventions.

• There is no one-size-fits-all way of adapting to climate change. Flexible alternatives should be the subject of a dynamic decision-making process in which the benefits of CSA strategies for all community members, including the poorest, are considered.

• CSA metrics must go beyond agricultural production. They need to embrace all aspects of poverty and wellbeing, such as markets, health, education and living standards.