Climate-Smart Agriculture in Latin America: Drawing on Research to Incorporate Technologies to Adapt to Climate Change

May 2014
Climate change could have serious effects on agricultural production worldwide, and particularly in Latin America. It threatens to increase the incidence of drought in some regions and flooding in others, while increasing climate volatility and thus exacerbating variance in yields in all regions. A number of technologies and agronomic techniques have been developed to reduce the effects of climate change by keeping yields high and stable. This paper outlines four of these key climate-smart agriculture techniques: conservation agriculture (tillage, cover crops, and rotation), irrigation, agroforestry, and soil conservation structures. The paper examines the results of current research on the effects of these techniques, their gaps and limitations, and the extent to which they have been adopted in Latin America. The analysis then serves as the basis for recommendations on how to better design projects promoting climate-smart agriculture and assess their future impact on Latin American farmers.