Sara Burbi: Small-scale farmers and climate change – opportunities and barriers to community engagement

RAU logo - Featured ImageThe agricultural sector has been particularly under pressure in recent years to provide not only food, animal feed and energy crops, but also to be a key player in environmental conservation and biodiversity, and more recently in the provision of ecosystem services. Therefore, farmers are not only responsible for producing food for society, but also have to preserve the environment, improve waste recycling, prevent air, soil and water pollution and provide a habitat for flora and fauna, all for the benefit of society. Furthermore, small-scale farming has to face financial constraints that may also adversely affect the successful implementation of good agricultural practices.

Small-scale farmers often feel isolated and consider researchers and policy makers distant from their farming realities; they tend to rely on local communities, interest groups or networks of influence in order to help them cope with innovation, policy changes and most recently, the impact of climate change. However, translational research can help in this respect by valuing farmers’ knowledge and providing guidance and advice to small-scale farmers on how to implement management practices that are not only proven to mitigate the effects of climate change on agricultural production but build on their own experiences and expertise.

Download poster: Sara Burbi CREST Symposium Poster 2013