Colombia is an agriculturally rich nation, with large productions of coffee, cocoa, rice, and sugarcane, to name a few. The US trade with Colombia amounts to $2.7 billion, making it the 12th largest exporter for the United States. Colombia’s trade increased to almost 200% from 2009 to 2019.
New farming techniques are being done in Cauca, southwestern region of Colombia, intended for sustainability and ability to withstand the environmental challenges brought about by climate change. This initiative is spearheaded by CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security, and funded by the European Commission, African Development Bank and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The area covered by the research project named Cauca Climate-Smart Village, has been at the mercy of unpredictable climate change repercussions that affect their crop products, soil fertility, and deprive them of water access. The team has been collaborating with local farmers to gather information on effective strategies and technologies that may be able to “increase adaptation to climate change and variability” and at the same time “reduce greenhouse gas emissions.” While climate-smart agriculture may be the next best thing in the future of sustainable farming, it is also heavily dependent on several environmental aspects which poses as quite a challenge in its development.
The project head also said that weather data is obtained from a local low-cost weather station as basis to make educated decisions on farming strategies in the next few months of the project. The concept of “climate smart villages” has already started operating in more than 15 countries around the world. And the youth in those local communities have begun appreciating the science and art of technologically-inclined agriculture instead of aspiring to work in urban jobs. The project has also opened new doors and opportunities for women to be more involved in the community.
Climate-smart agriculture aims to maximize pre-existing farming methods in such a way that makes it resilient or less susceptible to climate change, while also making an effort to lessen carbon emission by using it as an organic renewable energy source.