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Agriculture and climate

German activities

Fostering climate-smart agriculture

Drip irrigation on a field in Ethiopia

Agriculture plays a key role in both adaptation to climate change and climate change mitigation.

More than 90 per cent of countries mention the agricultural sector in their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement. Of those developing countries that have defined adaptation goals, 94 per cent have identified actions for adaptation to climate change in the agriculture and forestry sectors. 69 per cent of developing countries have identified measures for climate change mitigation in agriculture.

German contributions – from research to practical application

Maize plant

Any attempt to make agriculture climate-smart must be based in the first instance on sound data. That is why the BMZ supports the various centres of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) in their efforts to conduct research into the effects of climate change on agriculture.

One important area of action is the systematic integration of climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts into development cooperation programmes. For example, the BMZ supports the Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme (ASAP) of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) with a contribution of 13 million euros, thus helping to mainstream climate aspects in agricultural programmes.

Moreover, Germany uses its development cooperation programmes to help political decision-makers build capacity for the effective implementation of the agricultural components of their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). This assistance includes efforts to help these countries access funding from climate finance programmes.


Increasing yields while mitigating climate change

Climate-smart agriculture is based on a three-pronged approach that combines increased production, mitigation and adaptation. One example of this approach is the BMZ's "Soil protection and rehabilitation for food security" programme. It covers six countries and is concerned with restoring the fertility of degraded land. The programme involves soil protection, appropriate crop rotation for better soil fertility, and more efficient water use. This is helping to restore some 340,000 hectares of degraded land for agricultural use, which helps increase production, secure harvests even in dry years and thus boost farmers' incomes. All in all, it is making rural households more resilient to the impacts of climate change.


Protecting farmers from climate risks and fostering the marketing of agricultural goods

Another important topic is the protection of poor smallholders who are particularly vulnerable to climate risks, for example their protection against damage from droughts, storms and floods. The BMZ supports the development of climate risk insurance schemes in the agricultural sector under the InsuResilience initiative, including through the insurance programmes of the African Risk Capacity (ARC).

All in all, the BMZ seeks to achieve comprehensive and climate-smart development of smallholder farming – from the farm to the table.


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