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Inequality, Agriculture and Climate Change: From a Vicious to a Virtuous Circle

Smallholder farmers are on the frontline of climate change. There are estimated to be over 500 million of them, who still produce the majority of the world's food. Helping them cope with the effects of climate change such as rising temperatures and increased floods and droughts will not only safeguard food supply but also reduce the greenhouse gases associated with food systems which accounts for around one third of global emissions.

In the Philippines for example, standard production practices using continuous flooding (CF) are gradually being replaced by the technique of alternate-wetting-drying (AWD), which uses a more controlled irrigation strategy that can significantly reduce methane emissions as well as water use and pumping costs.  Currently, over 10,000 farmers are practicing AWD with support from the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

See more examples from CGIAR's body of research on this matter in this full op-ed authored by Elwyn Grainger-Jones, Executive Director of CGIAR System Organization, click here.