Greenhouse gases from agriculture account for more than 10% of total emissions globally, roughly equivalent to the entire global transport sector. Meanwhile, it is estimated that agricultural production will need to increase by about 70% by 2050 to keep pace with global population growth.
What’s more, the real impacts of climate change on the agricultural sector are likely going to be hardest felt in many of those countries whose people rely on agriculture most for their livelihoods. In sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia, for example, some estimates show a reduction in the productivity of most major food crops as a result of changes to the climate over the next 40 years.
While this may sound like a doom and gloom scenario, affordable technologies that have the potential to reduce greenhouse gases and increase productivity in agriculture are becoming more widely available. I am referring not to agricultural technologies — although those certainly play a role — but to information and communications technologies, like the mobile phone, video and radio.’Climate-smart’ methods of agriculture, such as conservation agriculture, agroforestry and others already exist. The challenge is that not all farmers know about them, there is no single prescription, and traditional practices can often die hard, particularly when you are working with small margins and taking risks could spell utter ruin for your family. So how do information and communication technologies change this? They make it easier to share locally relevant information on improved techniques and to provide time-specific information and recommendations (such as weather forecasts, and when to do what).
Full Story : The Guardian