Regional Training on Building Resilient Agriculture: Solution Packages for Farming Communities

   TwitCount

Background

Over the last few decades, resilience building has become a fundamental paradigm for addressing risks and vulnerabilities arising from climate change, increased incidence of natural hazards, growing migration, and market-price fluctuations. Furthermore, climatic and socioeconomic factors have contributed to the depletion of the natural resource base and the degradation of forests, rangelands, and agricultural lands. Most climate projections for the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) suggest that rainfall is likely to intensify and that extreme events will become more frequent. Rising temperatures are likely to put additional pressure on water supplies and – particularly in the high altitudes – may alter vegetation patterns, which could seriously affect livelihoods and habitats. In this context, it is more important now than ever to examine the complexities as well as the multifaceted and cross-scalar intersections of livelihoods with climate change. 

As agriculture is the main source of livelihood for mountain communities in the HKH, it is important to understand the impact of climate and other changes on agriculture and develop a package of good practices that will help the communities cope with changes and bounce forward. The magnitude and consequences of climate changes on agriculture are currently highly uncertain because of the extreme complexities of downscaling global climate models and projecting climate variables for high elevations and in monsoonal geographies. However, the impacts of climate change have already manifested in the form of changes in land and water resources and insect pest populations, and increase in incidence of diseases, among others. These changes ultimately translate into adverse impacts on agricultural productivity and profitability. But throughout the mountain areas of the HKH, access to technical knowledge and skills with regards to sustainable production systems and the use of climate-resilient practices such as bio-control or bio-pesticide options is still not adequate enough to allow for their widespread adoption.

The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), through its Adaptation and Resilience Building Regional Programme, has over the years conducted action research and pilot projects to better understand the risks and vulnerability in the HKH. Consequently, it has co-developed simple solution packages for building resilience and strengthening capacity through trainings, demonstrations, and exposure visits. Given the lack of communities’ access to these solutions and need for regional-level capacity development, the SAARC Agriculture Centre (SAC) and ICIMOD are jointly organizing a training programme on solution packages for resilient agriculture. Senior government officers from relevant government departments and experts from non-government organizations from eight countries will participate in the training to be held in Kathmandu, Nepal, from 27 to 30 May 2019. 

Objectives

The overall objective of the training is to develop participants’ understanding of the contemporary issues on climate change, adaptation, inclusive value chains, and resilience building in the agriculture sector. 

Expected outcomes

  • Develop ideas and understanding on the current state of agriculture and food security, climate change and its impacts, and adaptation and resilience concepts and frameworks 

  • Enhance the skills needed to strengthen market linkages, develop inclusive value chains and community enterprises, and achieve economies of scale

  • Incorporate climate-resilient agriculture practices and approaches in regular training activities of the regional training centres