Scaling Up Climate-Smart Agriculture

(MainsGS3: Transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints; e-technology in the aid of farmers.)


  • An estimated 22 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions in 2019 were from the agriculture, forestry, and other land use sectors.
  • Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA) provides a new set of principles for the management of agriculture in a changing climate, with its focus on climate mitigation along with adaptation and productivity improvements to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement.

 Impacts of climate change on agricultural:

  • The adverse impacts of climate change on agricultural productivity, including those of increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events such as floods and droughts, have diminished food and water security, thereby creating a massive challenge to meet the SDGs.
  • A 2022 FAO report emphasizes that the quest to end hunger, food insecurity, and malnutrition in all its forms is in a downward trend. 
  • In 2021, an estimated 2.3 billion people or 30 percent of the global population were moderately or severely food insecure. 
  • The COVID-19 pandemic caused the situation to further deteriorate, affecting 350 million more people after 2019.
  • This trend underlines the need to focus on all three components of CSA—i.e., productivity, mitigation, and adaptation. 
  • In this context, CSA presents an encompassing framework that attempts to improve productivity while addressing mitigation and adaptation in the sector.

Challenges in CSA:

  • A primary challenge is to acknowledge, identify and address the nexus of the three goals that CSA promises to deliver. 
  • Critics highlight that this “triple-win” theory is not a given—i.e., it cannot be substantiated that progress in one objective necessarily advances the other two.
  • Therefore, maximizing synergies and minimizing trade-offs are critical for its implementation. 
  • Advances in CSA need a holistic approach by broadening the scope to include inter-, multi-, and transdisciplinary approaches; consider the entire agriculture value chain; and move beyond simple technological/scientific solutions. 
  • CSA implementation also requires addressing some common governance challenges like fixing the gap between policy and practice; developing a participatory approach and focusing on small-scale producers
  • Further, CSA requires women as primary targets; understanding and integrating the political economy context in planning and implementation; and finally, measuring progress using pre-defined monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL) processes.

Process to practise:

  • CSA should grow to become a process to practise and govern agriculture and allied sectors to enhance nutritious food, lives, and livelihoods, and the sustainable use of natural resources in a changing climate. 
  • Simultaneously, it must ensure equity, especially for women and small-scale producers, acknowledge interdependence, and minimise trade-offs and maximise synergies wherever possible.

Role of G20:

  • G20’s focus on tackling food security and nutrition challenges has been instrumental in navigating global food crises. 
  • The G20 members have come together in the past to host multiple high-impact initiatives towards enhanced transparency of food markets, risk management, innovation in agricultural production, and increased investment in food security. 
  • With the looming climate change-induced food crisis, food security, productivity and sustainability have been the goal of successive G20 Agriculture Ministers’ declarations.
  • Most recently, the Matera Declaration of 2021 called for “better understanding and managing of climate risks, leveraging the power of the private sector and of the local, national, and international agricultural research organisations and knowledge institutes, as well as focusing on sustainable management and use of natural resources that are essential to the food system.”


  • Although there is a substantial increase in global collaborations on efforts to improve food security, there is also fragmentation in the agriculture sector on approach, framing and terminologies.
  • Therefore, while developing solutions that are critical for food security, there is a need for ‘true’ collaboration in the sector across the interest groups following the myriad different but related approaches, framing and terminologies.
Have any Query?

Our support team will be happy to assist you!