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Decision support tools for climate smart agriculture

Decision support tools for strengthening family farmers’ capacity to design climate smart options in Colombia

Sustainability Society Family agriculture Climate change Farming systems Innovation Participatory Scenario
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Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) has emerged as a new framework that links climate change and agriculture development initiatives and aims to establish agriculture systems that simultaneously increase productivity, enhance resilience, and reduce emissions. The transition to climate smart faming systems implies helping farmers acquiring new knowledge, attitude, and skills to analyze the complex impact of technical changes on the three pillars of CSA (productivity, resilience, attenuation). Particularly, new assessment methods are needed to be sure that to avoid solving one environmental problem (greenhouse gas emissions) while creating another.
Figure 1: Biopesticides can be considered as CSA practices, but tools are needed to assess their relevance at farm level


The overall objective of this proposal was to co-design with family farmers involved in a broader participatory research conducted in Colombia and Honduras, a methodology permitting to (1) strengthen their capacities to analyze the complex impacts of climate-smart practices on their farms, and to (2) facilitate their interactions with other local actors involved in a multi-stakeholder innovation platform.


Participatory definition and delimitation of the scope of the assessment based on surveys with farmers and a typology of existing farming systems
Selection of assessment criteria according to the literature on the three CSA pillars
Selection, Design and Calculation of Indicators based on focus groups with farmers and an inventory of all production, transportation, and processing processes for representative farms
Choice of the reference value to use (relative versus normative)
Interpretation of the results of the assessment and recommendations to improve synergies between the three pillars of CSA
Drafting of scientific papers


An operational methodology called LCSA4CSA for ministry of agriculture of Colombia, partners of the broader project, based on life cycle assessment and that allows to take into account the different environmental impact of CSA practices
A scientific paper submitted on the participatory process and its effects on farmers’ knowledge and adoption of innovative practices
A scientific paper presenting the prospective evaluation of the role of climate-smart alternatives in adapting and mitigating climatic impacts and improving productivity
An oral communication to LCA AgriFood Asia 2018
Figure 2: Schematic representation of the system under consideration: at farm and crop system levels

Project Images

Project Number : 1502-006

Year : 2015

Type of funding : AAP MOBILITE

Project type : AAP

Start date :
01 Apr 2016

End date :
31 Mar 2018

Flagship project :

Project leader :
Nadine Andrieu

Project leader's institution :

Project leader's RU :

Budget allocated :
30000 €

Total budget allocated ( including co-financing) :
90000 €

Funding :