Several studies have shown the effects of climate change on the ecosystem, public health and the economy of many countries. Among the various factors that contribute to climate change, agriculture is responsible for 11% of anthropogenic emissions.
The projection for the next few years is not positive either. An estimated 1 billion people are currently hungry, and if climate effects are confirmed, more populations are likely to be vulnerable.
To alleviate this situation, one of the keys may be the so-called “climate-smart agriculture” (CSA), an approach that has been drawing attention for being based on sustainable development and food security. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), CSA aims to increase agricultural productivity and income, adapt and build resilience to climate change, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
According to a recent study, published in the journal PlosONE, CSA can help reduce hunger by improving crops and protecting the environment. Researchers at the International Food Policy Research Institute have quantified for the first time the potential global impact of this approach.
The results suggest that the implementation of the CSA could avoid that approximately 69 million people suffer the risk of dying of hunger in the year 2050. To calculate, four types of agronomic practices were analyzed: no-tillage, integrated management of the soil fertility, efficient nitrogen use and crop rotation.
These practices have demonstrated the ability to increase yields and improve efficiency in the use of water and soil nutrients. It has also contributed to reducing gas emissions.
“We are aware of the fact that the large-scale adoption of CSA technologies requires overcoming some barriers to adoption and also substantial investments in knowledge transfer with the need for full support from governments,” said Alessandro De Pinto and Nicola Cenacchi, authors of the study.
Those interested in expanding training in food technologies or in sustainable development can consult the postgraduate programs promoted by FUNIBER in areas, such as the Master’s Degree in Engineering and Environmental Technology and the Master’s Degree in Nutrition and Food Biotechnology.