The UN’s Food and Agriculture Agency offers some really interesting looking free courses on food security, including one new one on Climate Change:
Climate Change and Food Security – New E-learning Course from FAO
This free course helps us understand how climate change is affecting agriculture and our food security – and what can be done.
How does climate change affect agriculture and food security? What can be done to minimize its negative impacts? These are just some of the questions answered in this new course from FAO available for free online at: www.foodsec.org/dl or on CD-Rom by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org
Starting with an overview of the concept of climate change, the course then looks at its impact on food security. After examining strategies for mitigating or adapting to the effects of climate change, it suggests concrete ways to make sure agriculture is “climate smart”.
The course is aimed at policy makers and people working in development agencies, who need to better understand how climate change affects agriculture and food systems, and what concrete actions can be taken. The course also includes face to face training materials, such as exercises, trainer’s notes, and slides, which can be adapted to your training needs.
Concrete actions are needed to ensure food security
The effects of climate change will hit vulnerable people the hardest. However, policy makers and individuals can take concrete actions now to prevent food insecurity from increasing. Lesson Three “Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation in Agriculture” looks at possible strategies such as:
- “people centred” strategies such as setting up community based grain banks, helping rural households diversify their sources of income, and social protection schemes;
- improved water management practices such as building infrastructure for more efficient irrigation systems and small-scale water capture, storage and use;
- adopting farming practices aimed at conserving soil moisture, organic matter and nutrients –such as crop rotation and using mulch stubble and straw;
- using short-cycle seed varieties that allow for harvesting before the peak of the cyclone season.
Introducing climate smart agriculture
Many countries need to continually increase food production for growing populations. However, the goals of increased production and environmental preservation sometimes appear contradictory.
Lesson Four provides valuable insights on how climate smart agriculture can transform entire agricultural systems, making them more productive, while preserving the environment.