AESA Publications Policy Briefs

Policy Brief No.3-Extension and Advisory Services in Scaling up Climate Smart Agriculture in South Asia

Mounting evidence points to the fact that climate change is already affecting agriculture and food security, which will therefore make the challenge of ending hunger, achieving food security, improving nutrition, and promoting sustainable agriculture even more difficult (FAO 2016). Through Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 13, the 2030 Agenda calls for strengthened resilience and adaptive capacity in response to natural hazards and climate-related disasters globally. It calls on all countries to establish and operationalize an integrated strategy – one that includes food security and nutrition – to improve their ability to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change, and to foster climate resilience and lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions without jeopardizing food production (FAO et al. 2018). Climate Smart Agriculture may help achieve higher production with reduced emissions. This would have been the simple answer to climate change impacts on agriculture, if the issues were simple. But they rarely are. Extension and Advisory Services (EAS)i need to support farmers in addressing some of these concerns, but their capacities need to be significantly enhanced to play these roles.This brief discusses some of these issues and draws significantly on the South Asia Policy Dialogue organised jointly by Agricultural Extension in South Asia (AESA), IRRI South Asia Regional Centre (ISARC), the Centre for Research on Innovation and Science Policy (CRISP) and the Sri Lanka Network of Agricultural Extension and Advisory Services (NAEASSL) at Colombo, Sri Lanka, on 5 October 2018. Several policy makers, donors, and key extension professionals engaged in promotion of climate smart agriculture in South Asian countries participated in this dialogue.


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  • It is very well drafted and highlighted the urgency in mitigating the affect of climate change on the livelihoods of the people esp in south Asian countries. I wonder whether any country has come out with a road map to promote climate smart agriculture. Even the response of the govt to tackle the issues of natural calamities ( regular feature in many states) is so poor what to expect from it for addressing climate change. As you know that the Governments at the Centre and states in India usually focuses on preventing the loss of human life as we can see the preparedness of the official machinery during cyclones or floods in Andhra Pradesh. But the revival of crops or protection of animals is not in their agenda. For instance establishing fodder banks are recommended to feed the animals in the areas affected with floods/cyclones/droughts. But the Govt is lacking the will and stop at constituting a committee without any financial outlays. As pointed out some organisations do provide succor to the families affected by the calamities either man made or nature’s gift. But it can not match the extent of damage caused by these calamities. My feeling is that the govt is not able to gauge the magnitude of climate change impact or the usual approach – let us wait and see.
    Any good example from our neighboring countries which also face similar climate issues”.