JG’s Kristal Jones, Erika Berglund, and Willow Grinnell staff recently co-authored a paper with several scientists at the One CGIAR that investigates the impacts of climate-smart agriculture (CSA) on agricultural communities in Sub-Saharan Africa. The article, titled “Evidence supports the potential for climate-smart agriculture in Tanzania,” will be published in the March 2023 edition of the journal Global Food Security.

The goal of this journal article was to summarize a decade of research led by CGIAR on field-based CSA management practices in Tanzania. CSA has been supported by governments and development actors across Sub-Saharan Africa to decrease vulnerability of smallholder farmers in the face of “near-term climate threats to agricultural productivity and food security.“ CSA is not defined by a set of practices but uses three pillars to define its outcomes: (1) sustainably increase agricultural productivity in support of equitable increases in farm incomes, food security, and development; (2) adapt and build resilience in agricultural and food systems to the impacts of climate change at various scales;(3) mitigate greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural activity. The paper uses the three pillars of CSA to point to the positive and negative outcomes of CSA utilization in plans, policies and strategies in Tanzania to address climate change, agricultural production, and rural livelihood goals. The paper adds an explicitly social dimension to the three CSA pillars as well, to highlight some of the equity implications and trade-offs of CSA practices in Tanzania.

The results show consistently positive impacts of CSA on productivity, mixed impacts on resilience, short-term negative impacts on emissions intensity, and highly variable impacts on socioeconomic characteristics. Overall, the results of the paper underscore the potential for CSA practices to generate synergies across the three pillars, and highlight the need for social impacts and equity to be equally considered. The results presented in the article highlight the opportunities and impending importance of integrating CSA practices in agriculturally diverse countries like Tanzania for sustainable development and adaptive capacity.

For the full article in the Global Food Security journal, follow this link.