As a result of global challenges, in terms of population increase, resource scarcity, climate change, and many others, the development of agriculture is the continuing focus of attention within the research and policy community (Neufeldt et al., 2013). The term Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) was first used in 2009, and was defined as agriculture that “sustainably increases productivity, enhances resilience, reduces or removes greenhouse gas emissions, and enhances the achievement of national food security and development goals” (FAO, 2010).
CSA is of particular relevance to agricultural systems in Sub-Saharan Africa given their particular vulnerability to the impacts of current and future climate change (Harvey et al., 2014). As agriculture is the key economic sector in many developing countries, increasing the resilience, and reducing the vulnerability of agriculture systems is essential (Conant, 2009).
The main goal of CSA is to support efforts, at the global and local levels for the sustainable use of agriculture systems to enhance food and nutrition security (Lipper et al., 2014) CSA consists of three objectives, or pillars. Firstly, to increase the productivity of agriculture, incomes, food security, and development (Campbell et al., 2014; Lipper et al., 2014) Secondly, increasing adaptive capacity, and building resilience at both a farm and national level (ibid). Finally, development of opportunities for mitigation, to reduce GHG emissions and increase carbon sinks (ibid). The CSA approach also targets the development of technical, policy and investment conditions to achieve sustainable agricultural development for food and environmental security under climate change (FAO et al., 2013). CSA will require a move from the “business as usual” approach, with a comprehensive program targeted at building the adaptive capacity of physical, socio-economic, human and institutional dimensions of farming systems (Mutamba & Mugoya, 2014).