Scaling up climate-smart agriculture: Lessons from ESPA research

Authors Schaafsma, M.; Bell, A.
Year of Publication 2018
Type of Publication Working Paper


Climate-smart agriculture (CSA) is an approach for developing agricultural strategies to secure sustainable food security under climate change. CSA has three inter-related objectives, where the first two objectives are emphasised in low-income situations:

1. Food security: sustainably increasing crop yields and productivity and improving farmer incomes;

2. Improving adaptation and building farmers’ resilience to climate change; and

3. Improving mitigation (when and where possible): reducing and/or removing greenhouse gas emissions.

ESPA’s goal is to ensure that ecosystems are conserved and managed more sustainably, in ways that alleviate poverty and enhance wellbeing. ESPA is concerned that CSA is developed in an equitable way that helps all people to move out of poverty. Comparing ten ESPA projects that focus on agriculture – of which two directly focus on CSA – provides some insight into the opportunities and challenges for scaling up CSA. This synthesis outlines the ESPA evidence from these ten projects, interpreting the findings and implications within the frame of CSA, as well as priorities of the Ecosystem-Based Adaptation for Food Security Assembly (EBAFOSA).