by BINI Michel from CNOP-CAM
To prevent flooding during the rainy season, farmers clean the central hemispheres (water bed) and collectors by weeding regularly. They also build concrete water bastions (monks) to stop the water by creating waterfalls when they are full. This system allows water to infiltrate the soil, creating permanent moisture and having water available to water plants during the dry season. During the dry season, when water is scarce because the rivers dry up, farmers dug water wells that serve as a reservoir. These wells reduce the distance between plots away from the waterway and facilitate irrigation.
As a major resource for reducing emissions and addressing climate change, the soil is also an important asset. There are two types of measures developed by farmers in soil management: the simultaneous exploitation of different landscape units and the change of plot sites.
The exploitation of landscape units
One of the primary responses of farmers to ongoing climatic events in their country is to use more than one landscape unit to manage the risks of these events and minimise their adverse effects.
Change of site of plots
In response to the heavy consequences of climate deterioration, notably prolonged droughts and floods, some farmers take the option of changing landscape units. This is a strategy that requires a good availability of land for all, which is still not obvious because of the land pressure that is developing in the countries. This strategy is replaced by the simultaneous exploitation of landscape units and the relocation of crops, which are more developed by the farmers.
- More than 3000 farmers have benefited from the implementation of these practices.
- Availability of products during all seasons.
- Small-scale farmers produce sustainably on the same areas and achieve good yields through agro-ecological methods.
- Fruit farming with medium-term crops.
- Sustainable provision of food.
- Development of improved fallow to ensure food security.
- Strengthening production capacities.
- Preservation of the ecosystem.
The approach in this story is inspired in natural ecosystem dynamics. This recognizes the heterogeneity of the productive parameters within and specific area or landscape, as well as its variation from one area to another in order to project what in principle could function as a crop rotation but in a larger and more complex geographical/spatial scale. Nevertheless, preserving the same underlying concept related to boosting of biodiversity (beyond species of agricultural interest) and reducing the vulnerability to climatic hazards in strategic areas. As mentioned above, a key aspect to be considered is the availability of land, for this reason, it is imperative that permanent dialogue scenarios between all actors of the territory are ensured and operate under common governance. This, recognizing and framing the ecological, socio-economic, cultural and policy-institutional characteristics of each place so that sustainable planning and management of the territory can be carried out through participatory mechanisms and stronger cooperation agreements between public and private actors to continue harvesting successful experiences toward food security and adaptation goals. Finally, sustainable water management technologies and synergistic agroecological practices implemented, are likely to support more stable and multi-functional landscapes going beyond the achievement of food security indicators, materializing co-benefits around adaptation and mitigation outcomes, that can be further explored and evidenced, finding entry points to leverage he dignity and evolution of rural livelihoods.
*This is done in the framework of climate-smart agriculture (CSA) approach. Climate-smartness in agriculture means understanding impacts of climate change and variability along with the agricultural activity, which includes the planning of what crop to plant, when to plant, what variety to plant and what type of management practices are needed to reduce the impact on the environment (e.g. emissions reduction), maintain or increase productivity (e.g. yields) while increasing resilience and improving livelihoods.