Cacao farmers in Nicaragua lose their crop, the main ingredient for chocolate, to fungal blight and degrading soils.
Cacao farmers in Nicaragua lose their crop, the main ingredient for chocolate, to fungal blight and degrading soils. Yields drop in Vietnam’s rice paddies because of higher temperatures and increased salinity. Bean and maize growers in Uganda see their plants die during severe dry spells during what should be the rainy season.
The two-punch combination of climate change and poor agricultural land management can be countered with simple measures that keep farms productive and profitable. Implementation of these climate-smart agriculture (CSA) practices can increase yields, benefit the environment and increase farmer income, according to a new cost-benefit analysis by the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) published November 19 in PLOS ONE.
The study examines 10 major climate-related issues facing farmers in Africa, Asia and Latin America and proposes site-specific CSA remedies. These include rotating rice fields with peanuts in Vietnam, manual blight control for cacao in Nicaragua, and planting drought-tolerant varieties of beans and maize alongside each other in Uganda.
Where additional investment is required, initial rates of return on investment range from 17 percent to 590 percent. Startup costs can be recovered in one to eight years, depending on the management practice. In all cases, yields increase.
Read more at International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)
Image: Drought and salinity-resistant rice at an International Center for Tropical Agriculture research site in Vietnam. (Credit: Internaional Center for Tropical Agriculture / Georgina Smith)