Climate-Smart Development Pathways

Theme Leads

Andrew Challinor – University of Leeds
Pete Smith – University of Aberdeen

Theme Overview

This theme models and evaluates the pathways to be followed to achieve food and nutrition security in Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia, through agriculture development that is climate-smart and resilient.

An Integrated Assessment Framework incorporates modelling of the full range of climate, agricultural and land use dynamics in each country with stakeholder-driven scenario narratives and expert judgement. This determines which pathways of regional land use, agricultural technology development and changes in diets – developed in our Policy Design and Implementation theme – can help deliver the Sustainable Development Goals and limit the rise in agricultural emissions for each country.

By combining models with expert judgement, we evaluate the trade-offs and opportunities associated with the scenarios developed in our Food Systems Research theme. Through the integrated models we quantify greenhouse gas mitigation, crop yields, water use, soil fertility and food production. Using trade and land use data, we assess the amount of food likely to be available in the future under these different scenarios and how this will impact on diets and nutrition.

The Integrated Assessment Framework enables us to predict the impact of current activities. Using current trends (crop management and yields, climate change, land and water availability, emissions trajectories) we forecast agricultural development and its impact on areas including yield and nutrition, requirement for land, water, GHG emissions, and ecosystem services. We also map the pathways working back from the desired development objectives in 2050 to today, to highlight the technical routes by which these outcomes can be achieved.

The results will be presented in a tool known as the integrated Future Estimator for Emissions and Diets (iFEED), drawing on expertise from across the programme team and input from stakeholders active across the agri-food spectrum in the focal countries. iFEED is a culmination of AFRICAP research and expertise, involving collaborative efforts from all partners across the UK and Africa.


New Publication: Innovation systems and affordances in climate-smart agriculture

Significant international investment and effort are put into delivering benefits to smallholder farmers through climate-smart agriculture (CSA) interventions. However, there is a poor understanding of how smallholder farmers access beneficial outcomes from changes in agricultural practices beyond narrow and simplistic metrics, such as adoption rates and yield increases. Furthermore, binary notions of adopters and non-adopters…

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