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.
“The potential for these strategies is immense and actionable immediately, if targeted to the right farmers and accompanied by appropriate resources,” said Peter Laderach, CIAT’s Global Climate Change and co-author of the study. “Now, the challenge lies in overcoming the obstacles to implementing their adoption.”
Many CSA practices that improve production, buffer fields against climate change and improve nutrient-poor soils require little additional investment. Sometimes these cost less than business-as-usual farming, which relies on single-crop plantations and chemical fertilizers. But adoption at the most of the research sites in is minimal. Obstacles include resistance to changing habitual farming techniques, labor constraints and lack of access to credit.