Rate This Resource


Smallholder systems exist under a broad range of climatic conditions. There are some basic considerations, however, that apply in nearly every set of conditions.

Soil and water conservation

Productivity of both crops and animals depends on the availability of water and fertile soil. Where there is no possibility of irrigation, look for ways to harvest/collect rainwater, keeping it on the fields where it can infiltrate the soil instead of eroding valuable topsoil. Pursue any available options to improve access to water for irrigating small farms and gardens, using water resources as efficiently as possible. In terms of soil fertility, adapt practices that conserve topsoil, build soil organic matter, and maximize the efficiency of fertility inputs.

Diversification for resilience

Together with practices that guard water and soil resources, diversify crop selection and animals for resilience. Select crops and livestock breeds that are best suited to prevailing conditions. In deciding which crops are appropriate for an area, observe the annual and perennial plant species already present. Annuals are an indicator of recent weather patterns while the perennial species provide clues as to the prevailing climate. If the landscape, for instance, features a lot of acacias or palms, the chances are that the area does not receive a great deal of rainfall.

Use of alternative energy sources

Increasing food production is important, but it is also wise to consider other aspects of small-farm systems. How is the food stored and cooked? What fuels are used for cooking? These questions lead to considerations of alternate energy sources. There are ways, for example, to greatly reduce the volume of wood or charcoal needed for food preparation.

--- BPN #2

 

Please note that the links listed below may lead to additional resources which have not yet been added to this collection.    Search for more listings and filtering


  1. 2013-04-16 Smallholder farmers and agricultural development workers are reporting changes in climate. For example, during the 2012 ECHO Agricultural Workshop in Asia, 63 attendees representing at least 25 agriculture and community development organizations from across Myanmar were polled about their...
  2. Rating: 5.0 - 1 Vote
    2016-09-28 Farmers in many parts of the world, because of human population growth, have little choice but to crop their land continuously, with scarce resources to replace nutrients withdrawn by each successive crop. Crop residues are often lost as a source of organic matter and mulch, usually through...
  3. This article is from ECHO Asia Note #16 During the 2012 ECHO Agriculture Workshop in Yangon, 63 attendees representing at least 25 agriculture and community development organizations from across Myanmar were polled about their observations and opinions related to climate change. The vast majority...
  4. This article is from ECHO Asia Note #26 Mr. Bunlom Taokaew is the son of rice farmers. He chose a career as a businessman after he finished school. Because he didn’t make enough of a living, he went into debt to the order of hundreds of thousands of baht. He borrowed money from his father, a...
  5. Abstract, Biogeosciences, 2015 There are national and regional efforts aimed at increasing fertilizer use in sub‐Saharan Africa, where nitrogen (N) inputs must be increased by an order of magnitude or more to reach recommended rates. Fertilizer inputs increase N availability and cycling rates and...
  6. Abstract: The Action Against Desertification (AAD) project supports eight ACP countries, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Gambia, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Fiji and Haiti in the sustainable management and restoration of degraded land. Baseline assessments have been carried out in each of these countries to...
  7. USAID’s Global Climate Change Programs reach more than 50 countries on four continents. Partner countries define their own goals. USAID assistance helps build capacity to adapt to climate change and lower greenhouse gas emissions, while pursuing economic growth. The programs under the orange tab...
  8. Rating: 4.0 - 1 Vote
    2016-01-01 The 2015 Paris Climate Summit attempted to define specific actions related to the sequestration of atmospheric carbon, which continues to reach ever greater concentrations (currently over 400 parts per million of carbon dioxide). To curb climate change, 350 parts per million or less is regarded...
  9. 2016-09-27 Les changements climatiques constituent un réel problème dans notre région ouest-africaine. S'il est vrai que les manifestations des changements climatiques sont souvent comme des facteurs extérieurs incontrôlés par l'Homme, il n'est pas moins vrai que face aux sinistres crées par les changements...
  10. 2017-11-15
  11. ScienceDaily, 2018 Penn State An agricultural system that combines trees with crops and livestock on the same plot of land, agroforestry is especially popular in developing countries because it allows small shareholder farmers -- who have little land available to them -- to maximize their...
  12. The ancient conservation and adaptation practices used by indigenous peoples around the world to maintain their livelihoods are being incorporated into modern adaptation strategies that effectively respond to the local context. The impacts of climate change have become increasingly apparent...
  13. 2014-01-20 In EDN 120, we summarized a document about SCI, the System of Crop Intensification, a methodology that applies SRI principles to crops other than rice. CTA (the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation) and SRI-Rice (the SRI International Network and Resources Center at Cornell)...
  14. 2014-06-23 Amazon Description : Biochar is the carbon-rich organic matter that remains after heating biomass under minimization of oxygen during a process called pyrolysis. Its relevance to deforestation, agricultural resilience, and energy production, particularly in developing countries, makes it an...
  15. 2017-05-22 This presentation discusses climate change, including impacts specific to agriculture in Nepal, and approaches to mediate its effects.
  16. 2019-02-14 Session: Pollinators are a key component of global biodiversity, providing vital ecosystem services to crops and wild plants. There is clear evidence of recent declines in both wild and domesticated pollinators, and parallel declines in the plants that rely upon them. Here we describe the nature...
  17. CEDRA is a strategic-level environmental risk assessment for agencies working in developing countries. It helps local humanitarian and development agencies make their existing projects stronger against climate and environmental change. It is designed to be used across the whole of an...
  18. Achieving the goals of Feed-the-Future and theGlobal Food Security Strategyrequires careful consideration of the impact of relevant climate science on agricultural production, while at the same time considering other cross-cutting issues that influence agricultural growth, poverty alleviation and...
  19. No single research institution working alone can address the critically important issues of global climate change, agriculture and food security. The CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) will address the increasing challenge of global warming and...
  20. 2017-04-18 Review “At this point in time, theDrawdownbook is exactly what is needed; a credible, conservative solution-by-solution narrative that we can do it. Reading it is an effective inoculation against the widespread perception of doom that humanity cannot and will not solve the climate crisis....
  21. 2017-01-20 Climate change presents a profound challenge to food security and sustainable development in Africa. Its negative impacts are likely to be greatest in the African region, which is already food insecure. In the face of global climate change and its emerging challenges and unknowns, it is essential...
  22. Abstract, New Phytologist, 2018 Dec Forest ecosystem methane (CH4) research has focused on soils, but trees are also important sources and sinks in forest CH4 budgets. Living and dead trees transport and emit CH4 produced in soils; living trees and dead wood emit CH4 produced inside trees by...
  23. 2017-07-31 This week’s guest post is an interview with ECHOcommunity member Shibesh Das who has been very helpful in sharing information and ideas with the network. This interview is reposted with permission from Food Tank. TheDoba-based Livelihood Programis an initiative of the Rajadighi Community Health...
  24. 2015-04-30 This document draws from the MEAS brief #3Adaptation under the New Normal of Climate Change: The Future of Agricultural Extension and Advisory Services. Written for extension and advisory service providers, the MEAS brief contains insights helpful to practitioners working to develop strategies...
  25. 2016-03-01 Session: Strategies will be shared to test increase of resilience, for example, a vegetable leather tanning program. The rangelands bordering the western slopes of the Mount Meru are a key ecological corridor and provide for a range of ecosystem services that entirely support the livelihoods of...
  26. Abstract,Journal of Earth Science & Climatic Change, 2016 Moringa oleifera is known as “horseradish tree” or “drumstick tree”, native to India, is one of the best useful tree and an enormous amount of benefits in the world. Numerous Research reports have appeared in different national and...
  27. Climate-smart agriculture(CSA) is an integrative approach to address these interlinked challenges offood securityandclimate change, that explicitly aims for three objectives: Sustainably increasing agriculturalproductivity, to support equitable increases in farm incomes, food security and...
  28. 2018-03-07 Towards middle and high income for the people in the Ngorongoro District, Tanzania
  29. Rating: 5.0 - 1 Vote
    2019-02-12 Session: Ecosystem Based Adaptation (EBA) is the use of biodiversity and ecosystem services as part of an overall adaptation strategy to help people to adapt to the adverse effects of Climate Change. Ecosystem-based approaches for adaptation may include sustainable management, conservation and...
  30. 2017-05-23 This presentation on Gree Manure Cover Cropsseeks to answer the question: How do we achieve all of these objectives (profitability, practically, resiliency, reduced reliance on fossil-fuels, sustainability) when land is limited/degraded, inputs are unavailable or unattainable, labor is scarce,...
  31. Focali (Forest, Climate, and Livelihood research network) is a Swedish research network focusing on forest / bio-energy, climate change and poverty issues. Several Swedish universities and institutions are represented in the network. The purpose is to contribute to the provision of relevant...
  32. 2018-10-20 Abstract/Description Like many smallholder farmers in Africa, the farming families of southern Ethiopia are facing three major challenges: the need to intensify and diversify their farm production, on very small areas, in a context of high population growth. In these rural areas, given the...
  33. This paper underscores how measures to increase climate change resilience must view food, energy, water and waste management systems as interconnected and mutually dependent. This holistic approach must also be applied to economic analysis for adaptation planning. Similiarly; it is vital to use...
  34. Rating: 4.0 - 1 Vote
    2013-06-14 How to harvest water and nutrients, select drought-tolerant plants, and create natural diversity Because climatic uncertainty has now become "the new normal," many farmers, gardeners and orchard-keepers in North America are desperately seeking ways to adapt their food production to become more...
  35. This value chain analysis was completed by Nadezda Amaya as part of the international Programme “Linking agrobiodiversity value chains, climate adaptation and nutrition: Empowering the poor to manage risk” supported by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the European Union...
  36. Abstract, Science Advances, 2018 July Humanity faces the grand challenge of feeding a growing, more affluent population in the coming decades while reducing the environmental burden of agriculture. Approaches that integrate food security and environmental goals offer promise for achieving a more...
  37. Abstract, Science Advances, 2018 Nov Testing our understanding of crop yield responses to weather fluctuations at global scale is notoriously hampered by limited information about underlying management conditions, such as cultivar selection or fertilizer application. Here, we demonstrate that...
  38. Land-restoration challenges have been presented in the past, great solutions proposed, and targets set at local, regional, national and global levels, however, vast areas of agricultural land remain degraded on the African continent, often well beyond the global average of 20 percent. Sad but...
  39. A group of scientists, farmers and staff from development organizations in Malawi and Tanzania put together an integrated curriculum onagroecology,climate change,nutritionandsocial equity. This training material was written in such a way that rural people with limited education can use it to...