Farmer inspecting his sweet lime horticulture crop, watered by drip-irrigation, India
Developing climate change adaptation strategies for farming communities in Cambodia, Laos, Bangladesh and India
CSIRO research conducted with local farming communities in collaboration with Asian research institutes will provide farming options designed to increase the ability of smallholder farmers to adapt to the impacts climate variability and change.
17 June 2010 | Updated 8 July 2013
In this article
Farming communities in countries in southern and south-eastern Asia, including Cambodia, Laos, Bangladesh and India are highly vulnerable to climate change.
Climate risks are high and include increased flooding in lowland areas, increased number of extreme weather events and shifts in seasonal weather patterns.
Typically resource-poor, smallholder farmers in these countries are the most vulnerable as they have the least opportunities to change their work practices. This is compounded by weak institutional (e.g. government policy makers) capacity to develop and implement effective and relevant adaptation policies and strategies.
Working with farmers to test farming practices
CSIRO is working with farmers in selected regions in these four countries to identify, select and test climate change adaptation options that are viable and suitable for local communities.
One aim of the research is to develop and test new crop and water management practices for rice-based cropping systems that will outperform existing farming practices and that can accommodate future climate variability and climate change.
This work will be supported by research into strategies for improving livelihoods and resource use to ensure options are feasible for smallholder farmers to undertake.
CSIRO is working with farmers in selected regions in these four countries to identify, select and test climate change adaptation options that are viable.
Another aim of the research is to provide knowledge to local organisations including government agencies, non-government organisations, agricultural research agencies and extension services to improve their ability to design adaptation programs better aligned to local realities.
The project team is focusing on different research needs in the four countries:
- Cambodia: investigating supplementary irrigation in lowland rice-based cropping in Svay Rieng Province where there is access to groundwater and some surface irrigation water.
- Laos: changes to water management including supplementary irrigation in lowland rice-based cropping systems of two districts in Savannakhet Province
- Bangladesh: using data from field trials to refine the cropping systems model APSIM and use the model for improved predictions of crop production in relation to locally specific climate, crop variety, soil type and management factors
- India: improving the delivery of seasonal climate forecasting in Andhra Pradesh to increase agricultural productivity.
Work in all four countries will generate similar information; an understanding of locally feasible management options that will increase the ability of smallholder farmers to adapt to changing climates.
The information will also be scaled up by researchers to support the development of adaptation strategies applicable at provincial or national levels.
This work is funded by the Australian Government's Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) and is expected to be ending around September 2014.