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Information for G04018

SIFOR submission to the UNFCCC on agriculture

Krystyna Swiderska

Report/paper

This submission to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change draws on research by IIED and partners, notably: “Smallholder Innovation for Resilience: Strengthening innovation systems for food security in the face of climate change” (SIFOR), conducted with the Centre for Chinese Agricultural Policy (China), Kenya Forestry Research Institute (Kenya), Lok Chetna Manch (India) and ANDES (Peru).

The challenges of food security, feeding a growing population and declining crop productivity due to climate change are generally addressed through agricultural intensification – but this is not necessarily the best solution, particularly in marginal areas such mountains and drylands. Green Revolution agriculture has significantly increased crop yields through high yielding varieties supported by subsidies for inputs such as seed, fertilizer and irrigation. But over time it has also degraded the natural resource base on which agriculture depends.

This submission presents alternative adaptation measures for marginal lands, that both increase productivity and food security for smallholder farmers, and enhance genetic diversity, indigenous knowledge and the natural resource base. It also identifies agricultural practices that enhance productivity, food security and resilience in a sustainable manner in mountain and dryland mixed crop-livestock systems.

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IIED worked with partners in China, India, Kenya and Peru to revitalise traditional knowledge-based – or 'biocultural' – innovation systems of smallholder farmers in order to strengthen food security in the face of climate change. Traditional farmers continually improve and adapt their crops and farming practices in response to new challenges, using local knowledge and biodiversity, generating new technologies and practices.

More at www.iied.org:
Smallholder innovation for resilience (SIFOR)

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