International institutions like the World Bank, Food, and Agriculture Organization(FAO) are increasingly turning to the guidelines of “climate-smart agriculture” to shape their policies. But what does climate-smart agriculture (CSA) actually entail? A new policy brief by Marcus Taylor from Food First outlines the three main components of CSA which include: increasing productivity, strengthening resilience, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. However, the language of CSA is deliberately vague in order to support chemically intensive input techniques and other practices that actually undermine long-term sustainability and community health. As an alternative to climate-smart agriculture, Food First puts forth “climate-wise agriculture” which is based on improving food distribution, smarter consumption patterns, and ecological intensification and restoration. Lastly, this policy brief brings our attention to the ways in which corporate and philanthropic groups like the Gates Foundation are shaping global agricultural research in favor of biotechnology. Rather than producing solutions that would mitigate climate change, CSA is yet another set of guidelines whose implementation undermines local food sovereignty and sustainability.
View and download the policy brief on the Food First website: https://foodfirst.org/publication/whats-smart-about-climate-smart-agriculture/