Experts call for promoting climate-smart agriculture

BEIJING: Chinese, Pakistani and Turkish researchers have stressed on climate-smart agriculture, as the world is struggling to maintain and increase agriculture production against the backdrop of the growing climate-related challenges.

In a milestone move, these researchers on Saturday published two English monographs on climate-smart agriculture. The publications, “Sustainable Soil and Land Management and Climate Change” and “Climate Change and Plants”, investigate the historical, current and future effects of the climate change on plants and global agriculture production, and propose corresponding approaches and management strategies to mitigate the effects of high and low temperatures, drought and saline soils.

The work also contributes to climate-smart agriculture, which is an approach promoted by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) to guide actions needed to transform and reorient agricultural systems to effectively support development and ensure food security in a changing climate.

The timing of the publications could not be better, as global warming has taken a heavy toll on the crop yields.

“Scientists have proved that grain yield of rice declines by 10 per cent for each 1°C increase in [the] nighttime minimum temperature in 2004. Even now, agricultural and natural ecosystems in many parts of the world are unable to adapt to [the] rising temperatures and suffer devastating damage.” said Dr Wang Depeng, professor at the College of Life Science of Linyi University and co-editor of the two publications, in an exclusive interview with the China Economic Net.

The two works can help promote sustainable agriculture, in line with the second goal of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals, according to Dr Wu Chao, associate research fellow at the Guangxi Institute of Botany, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and the Chinese Academy of Sciences and co-editor of the two publications.

“The publications can provide researchers, experts and policymakers with theoretical and practical knowhow to explore the sustainable development of crops.”

He said, “We’re working with Pakistani and Turkish researchers to further explore the avenues for sustainable agriculture production. And three other publications, in this regard, will come out this year.”

Prof Dr Wang said more such international collaborations and communication and collaborations in agricultural research are ongoing under the Belt and Road Initiative.

“[The] scholars from the BRI countries have different research advantages in this field, and we can work together to conduct research and make our share of contributions to ensuring global food security.”

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