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Adaptation Practices in Agriculture

Dear TECA Members,

We kindly invite you to participate in our discussion on “Adaptation Practices in Agriculture” with the objective to identify successful farming practices contributing to climate adaptation.

In collaboration with the Nationally Determined Contributions Partnership (NDC-P) for climate action, TECA is launching a discussion dedicated to adaptation practices around the world. We encourage individual farmers, farmer organizations, extension services, NGOs, researchers and every individual interested in climate change adaptation to participate in the upcoming discussions and share your practices which have given positive results.

By participating in this discussion we aim at developing a summary with: i) An inventory of successful practices, strategies or technologies used in agriculture sectors around the world, ii) Constraints for their application, iii) Suggested actions to ensure climate adaptation in your country. Additionally, you will help to collect key information for the NDC implementation.

With the outcomes of the discussion, FAO aims to enhance cooperation so that countries have access to the technical knowledge and financial support they need to achieve ambitious climate and sustainable development targets as quickly and effectively as possible.

The discussion will last two weeks, starting on February 22nd  ending in March 31st, 2018 and will address the following questions:

  1. What adaptation practices, strategies or technologies have you been using so far in your agriculture sectors?
  2. What has worked well and what hasn’t? Briefly explain why. Share your experiences!
  3. What is needed to ensure that these practices, strategies and technologies respond to the climate adaptation commitments in your country?

We are happy to introduce the experts that will be able to answer your questions and share their experiences with us:

·       Dorothée Merkl, Climate and Environment Division (CBC), FAO

·       Rebecka Ramstedt, Climate and Environment Division (CBC), FAO

We are looking forward for your contributions and interactive discussion!

Yaremi Cruz



The Republic of Karakalpakstan is characterized by aridity of the climate. The people of the region have experienced severe droughts over the past twenty years. Due to the temperature increase due to climate change, the risk of drought in the region may increase. In this regard, the use of adaptation measures is most relevant for this region. We used the practice of mulching the soil surface with plant residues, which preserve soil moisture longer and reduces the seasonal accumulation of salts in the root layer of the soil. The processes of deflation and erosion of the soil are completely eliminated by the preservation of stubble residues and straw on the soil surface. Straw and stubble residues gradually decompose and enrich the soil with organic matter, which improves the vital activity of soil organisms that are important in activating the natural processes of soil formation. Mulching also prevents the formation of soil crust, smooths daily fluctuations in temperature, improves some of the water and physical properties of the soil, and thereby improves the conditions for plant growth and development.Mulching is one of the most important and integral components of the no tillage system. Therefore, we conducted the mulching test at the same time used all of no tillage techniques.

The effectiveness of no tillage begins only when the soil restores its fertility by increasing the soil organisms that play an important role in the reproduction of soil fertility. Despite this, a significant reduction in the cost of cultivating crops with no till allows even in the early years to achieve a high level of profitability compared to the usual processing. The system of no tillage, due to the abandonment of plowing and presowing soil preparation, reduces the time for crop cultivation, reduces the evaporation of moisture from the soil, which will reduce water consumption for irrigation, and reduces soil erosion. It is these factors that are important in the cultivation of crops. Long-term advantages of the technology include improving soil fertility, increasing the capacity to produce two crops a year by reducing the time of sowing after harvesting the grain of winter wheat. Moreover, no tillage reduces greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere, thereby affecting the prevention of Climate change processes.However, with all the desire, it is difficult to go to, no tillage equipment for zero seeding. The lack of such seeders is one of the limiting factors for the wide spread of this technology.

Crop rotation is the main principle of no tillage technology, while grains and legumes grow for both food and feed. The simplest and most acceptable scheme of crop rotation in our conditions is: wheat-mung bean-wheat-mung bean-winter pea-wheat.

I think that it is necessary to create demonstration areas in each district where it is possible to conduct field training of farmers by demonstrating all the advantages of no tillage and mulching to farmers and decision-makers.



On behalf of Dr. Hafiz Muminjanov, Plant Production and Protection Officer, FAO Subregional Office for Central Asia (FAO-SEC): 

Currently in Uzbekistan FAO is implementing the Project TCP/UZB/3601: Demonstration of diversification and sustainable crop production intensification. In the framework of this project, four different models of no-till drills were procured and delivered with the purpose of establishing demo plots and promoting Conservation Agriculture (CA). One of the project sites is based in Nukus branch of Tashkent State Agrarian University in Karakalpakstan. Recently the colleagues Dr. Aziz Nurbekov - NC/Team Leader and Mr. Alisher Shukurov - Assistant FAO Representative, organized a field day on no-till planting on spring barley in Nukus.

We invite you to contact our country team and discuss a potential cooperation and to check the webpage of the Regional Alliance on CA for Central Asia http://caincentralasia.org/ that contains many resources on CA/no-till/mulching that are available in Russian.


Dear Bakhitbay Aybergenov, 

Thanks for your contribution and sharing this experience from Karakalpakstan, Uzbekistan. Mulching, no-tillage and crop rotation are practices included in the Conservation Agriculture approach, which aims to achieve sustainable and profitable agriculture, improve livelihoods of farmers through the application of the three CA principles: minimal soil disturbance, permanent soil cover and crop rotations. In TECA we have practices on mulching and no-tillage, where you may find complementary information. Please have a look into these materials: Mulching in Organic Agriculture ( http://teca.fao.org/read/8365), Mulching to control soil erosion in Dominica (http://teca.fao.org/read/8207), Training manual for Organic Agriculture (http://www.fao.org/fileadmin/templates/nr/sustainability_pathways/docs/C...), No till Technology in Morocco (http://teca.fao.org/sites/default/files/technology_files/1_NoTillTechnol...), No-till technology - A no-till system with crop residue management for medium scale wheat and barley farming (http://teca.fao.org/read/7507Small-scale conservation tillage in Kenya (http://teca.fao.org/sites/default/files/technology_files/2_SmallScaleCon...), Small scale conservation tillage on small scale wheat farms in Kenia (http://teca.fao.org/read/7509)

FAO released in 2016 a publication on the Practice of Conservation Agriculture in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan where you can find more information about the equipment and machinery for Conservation Agriculture (http://www.fao.org/3/a-i5694e.pdf)



Dear all,

Greetings! I am a Researcher with the Third World Network and would like to share a co-publication with Sociedad Cientfica Latinoamericana de Agroecologia (SOCLA) and Red Iberoamericana de Agroecologia para el Desarrollo de Sistemas Agricolas Resilientes al Cambio Climatico (REDAGRES).

The booklet 'Didactic Tollkit for the Design, Management and Assessment of Resilient Farming Systems' is a methodological toolkit aimed at aiding farmers and technicians to build farming systems that are more resilient to climate variability. It identifies the agroecological principles and practices which enhance resiliency, underlining the need, among others, for crop and genetic diversity at the farm and landscape levels. It also highlights some of the key agroecological practices that enhance resiliency and climate adaptation.

The publication can be downloaded here: http://www.twn.my/title2/books/Didactic.htm

I hope it is useful.

kind regards, 

Lim LI Ching


Dear TECA members,

Thanks to Lim Li Ching for her contribution and sharing the experience of the Third World Network, SOCLA and REDAGRES.

I would like summarize the agroecological principles and practices mentioned in the Toolkit that enhance resilience to climate change impacts. The information provided in the documment will allow the farmers and technitians to develop an:

  1. Agroecological assessment of farms and their level of vulnerability 
  2. Initiate a Process of Agroecological Coversion (application of agroecological principles and practices) 
  3. Monitore the trajectory of the farms.  

As observed in the following table, the use of Agroecological practices bring many benefits that enhance climate change adaptation:

Some key practices that confer adaptation features at the landscape level include (Tscharntke et al. 2005):

  • Maintenance of landscape diversity — including a mosaic of agricultural and natural habitat.
  • Conservation and restoration of riparian areas within the agricultural landscape.
  • Conservation and restoration of remaining forest habitat in the surrounding landscape — including formal and informal protected areas.
  • Establishment of agroforestry and silvopastoral systems.
  • Increasing the duration of fallow periods.
  • Restoration of degraded or fragile lands.
  • Restoration and conservation of wetlands.
  • Reduced expansion of cropland into remaining natural habitats.
  • Maintenance of habitat connectivity to ensure pollination and pest control.

At the farm level, plant diversity can be achieved by:

  • Crop Rotations (cereal-legume sequences)
  • Polycultures (two or more crop species planted within certain spatial proximity)
  • Agroforestry Systems (Trees grown together with annual crops)
  • Cover Crops and Mulching (use of grass legumes e.g., under fruit trees)
  • Crop-livestock mixtures (Integration of animal, fodder shrubs, improved pastures and timber trees)

Other Agroecological practices refer to Soil and Water Management:

  • Adding Organic Matter to Soils (green manure, compost)
  • Managing Soil Cover (Mulching)
  • Water Harvesting

Agroecosystem resiliency


Dear all, 

Please don't forget the pastoralist perspective. For pastoralists, adaptations often involve changes to herd composition, movements, and marketing practices. This research synthesis offers interesting insights: 


Best regards,



Oliver MundyTechnical AnalystEnvironment and Climate DivisionVia Paolo di Dono 4400142 Rome, ItalyTel. +39 06 54592339o.mundy@ifad.orgwww.ifad.org

Pastoralism, or extensive livestock rearing, itself developed as an adaptation to (the harsh) specific and variable climatic conditions in the world’s rangelands. Pastoralists employ strategic mobility to make the most of the scarce resources in these terrains, moving from place to place in search of pasture. They produce useful animal products such as meat, milk, hides, and fibre, and provide ecosystem services such as improving soil fertility, maintaining biodiversity, and carbon sequestration. Yet, pastoralists face increasing threats from climate change, loss of resources, and adverse policies. Pastoralists have taken several measures to adapt to unfavorable conditions, such as:

1. Herd management: Pastoralists evade the adverse effects of climate change through the following herd management practices:

  • Splitting the herd into multiple groups for different pastures, and combining bought feed with natural pastures
  • Diversifying the herd through including different animals such as camels, cattle and small ruminants, including local resistant breeds and cross breeding of animals for favourable traits
  • Destocking or selling animals before dry spells and droughts, followed by restocking once pasture is available.

2. Traditional resource management: Pastoralists share a close relationship with their resources and manage resources in common following customary norms and traditional management practices. For example, the pastoralists in Jordan traditionally leave aside a parcel of rangeland seasonally known as the Hima. This area is left for ecological restoration and regeneration, and rotational grazing is followed.

3. Technological innovations: With the growth of information and communication technology, many new avenues for adapting to climate change have opened up. For example, AfriScout, a mobile application displays current water and vegetation conditions on localized grazing maps, allowing pastoralists to make informed decisions regarding pasture use. The cloud-based Land Potential Knowledge System (LandPKS) allows pastoralists to document information regarding land use, soil properties, erosion, precipitation and topography and receive advice on soil and land productivity. The Kenya Livestock Insurance Program uses satellite imagery to release insurance payments to pastoralists if they find that a threshold level of pasture depletion is noticed..

Pastoralist Knowledge Hub of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is a knowledge and advocacy platform that brings together different stakeholders working towards sustainable pastoralism. It collaborates with other FAO initiatives such as the Self-evaluation and Holistic Assessment of climate Resilience of farmers and Pastoralists (SHARP) tool to support pastoral resilience and climate adaptation.

Additionally, the Hub helps to strengthen pastoralist civil society networks to advocate pastoral friendly policies, including supporting national and transnational mobility and securing access to pastoral resources – both key to the climate adaptation and resilience of pastoralist communities.

For more information visit: http://www.fao.org/pastoralist-knowledge-hub/en/

or contact: pastoralist-hub@fao.org


Hello everyone!

Thanks for the great responses so far on conservation agriculture, agroecology and resilience building and pastoralism! As mentioned at the launch of this discussion, we are particularly interested in gathering success stories that are being leveraged to respond to your country's climate change adaptation goals and targets, for instance in your Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, or your National Adaptation Plan (NAP).

Just to highlight that FAO and UNDP are jointly supporting 11 countries to integrate agriculture in their National Adaptation Plans through the NAP-Ag programme. Take a look at some of country case studies:

Do you see any similiarities between your country and any of these? If your country is engaging in a NAP process, which practices are you prioritizing? If your country is developing a NAP, do take a look at our Addressing Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry in NAPs: Supplementary Guidelines (also in French and Spanish) - and check out the NAP-Ag Knowledge Tank, which contains over 100 useful resources and tools!

We look forward to hearing from you!

Best wishes,

Alashiya Gordes