by The Central Union of Turkish Forestry Cooperatives, Since 1997
Warmer and less rainy periods than in previous years began to be recorded, accompanied by an increase in extreme weather events. These ranged from floods to more frequent and damaging severe storms. This led to a reduction in agricultural and drinking water resources. There has been an escalation in the severity of droughts, a deterioration in water and soil quality, a reduction in biodiversity and an increase in diseases and pests.
In agricultural production, the problems of harvesting-threshing, tillage (hoeing, pruning, etc.), fertilisation, spraying, yield and quality, water supply for irrigation, and plant diversity have intensified. The direct consequence of this trend is the migration of the rural population to the cities, the abandonment of the young population in agriculture. While the population decreases in the countryside, the population increases in the cities. Economic and social problems intensify in the cities, along with employment and livelihood problems.
Farmers have identified best practices for climate change adaptation and mitigation. These involve
- New technologies have been adopted.
- New and neglected varieties were used.
- Emphasis was placed on better food storage with integrated applications.
- An attempt was made to reduce waste.
- Crop rotations.
- Avoid excessive fertilizer application.
- Establishment of agroforestry system.
- Attention was paid to crop yield and livestock productivity (choosing regionally appropriate foods, rotational grazing exercise, managing fertilizer to reduce methane and nitrogen oxides, cover fertilizer storage facilities, optimizing soil fertilizer applications).
- Improved marketing mechanisms have begun to be implemented.
- Attention was paid to risk management, including financial insurances.
Each farm business developed different opportunities for energy conservation and fuel exchange among which conducting a farm-based, fully fuel-powered energy assessment to identify energy saving opportunities such as ensuring that all heating and cooling systems work well, using timers, sensors or variable speed drives in ventilation, heating, cooling and lighting systems, replacing fossil fuel-powered equipment with electric pumps and motors or using renewable energy sources.
Significant improvements in agricultural production are achieved. Farmers make sure to use inputs in accordance with technical recommendations when using medicines and fertilisers, especially when it comes to water. Good yield results are obtained as a consequence of the rational use of agricultural inputs. The costs of production for the producer decrease and their income improves. Environmental damage caused by the excessive and incorrect use of inputs is reduced.
The Union has identified several changes in the food system dynamic that are interlinked with food and nutritional security, adaptation and mitigation at different levels. For example, as a result of the increasing demand of organic agriculture from consumers began this marked is growing. This, in part due to the increase of social (producers and consumers) awareness around healthy food, and the conservation of biodiversity. Therefore, farmers’ organizations began to build technical capacity and engaged experts on these thematic areas to support their integration in agricultural production in accordance with consumer’s needs. All the above-mentioned practices target food security, as these contribute to increase yield and farmers´ income. Moreover, numerous connections can be made in terms of their benefits to adaptation, just to mention few, biodiversity protection and diversified and organic systems are key, as they contribute to various ecosystem services, such as supporting (soil formation, nutrient cycling) and regulation (pollination, water regulation and purification, pest and disease regulation, erosion control etc.). Through soil organic matter content, agroecosystems contribute to significant reserves of carbon, hence practices aimed to keep or restore soil health, share mitigation benefits. Additionally, renewable energy technologies recognized as suitable for farmers, such as geothermal, wind, solar, biogas (from crop waste management) can diversify energy sources with possible economic benefits, and greenhouse gases reduction compared to fossil fuels.
*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.