What’s Smart About Climate-smart Agriculture?

New Policy Brief by Food First

You may be familiar with the term Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA), which organizations like the World Bank and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) have been holding up for many years as the method to address large scale issues with agriculture and solve hunger. Climate-smart agriculture, according to FAO, is an approach to transform and reorient agricultural systems to effectively support development and ensure food security in a changing climate. When you look at the stated objectives of CSA, increased productivity, greater resilience, and a reduction in emissions, you may wonder why so many organizations – including WhyHunger, the US Food Sovereignty Alliance, La Via Campesina, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and so many other stand against this practice and see it as a dangerous way of “greenwashing” corporate controlled agriculture and undermining the movements for food sovereignty and agroecology around the world.

In their new Policy BriefWhat’s Smart About Climate-smart Agriculture? by Marcus Taylor, Food First explores the how climate-smart agriculture has created grounds to justify chemicalized input-intensive agriculture and perpetuate false solutions to hunger.

“Despite its calls for a new approach to global agriculture, CSA provides little indication of how any substantive change could, or should, occur. It establishes no clear principles by which to judge what kinds of productivity and resilience are desirable, nor how to deal with the inevitable tensions and trade-offs that emerge between those goals. This inherent vagueness creates the grounds under which a heavily commercialized and chemicalized input-intensive model remains the dominant driving force of global agriculture despite its problematic relationship to environmental degradation and climate change.”

Read What’s Smart About Climate-smart Agriculture? by Food First to learn more about this important issue, what an alternative could look like and what is truly at stake.

Debbie Grunbaum