provide potentially ‘stand-alone’ technology options to help smallholder communities mitigate the impacts of climate change on their food production systems, they may be linked together to provide even more effective risk management strategies. Improved water management will have beneficial spin offs for both crop and livestock production under moisture stress conditions, which in turn may allow better use of water resources in situations of abundant supply – e.g. fish farming. The Action will explore opportunities for combining these technology options to result in synergies between the different components and produce more effective strategies for coping with climate change impacts, and farmers in target communities will be encouraged to explore such potential combinations.
Community baseline status & needs assessed: Surveys will be used to provide baseline information on the food security status, management of native agro-biodiversity, especially primary forests, and soil & water resources, degree of HIV/AIDS awareness, disability profile of community members (e.g. numbers of people with hearing and sight disabilities), and their communication needs to obtain up to date situation and needs analyses regarding specific climate change risk scenarios. Issues related to the rights of indigenous people, their culture and tradition will be explored for analysis to inform design details of the Action. Sites for piloting mitigation strategies will be identified through consultative processes.
Communities participating and expressing preferences for types of intervention in the R&D process: Discussions with community members during the initial surveys, subsequent stakeholder workshops, and on-going dialogue during the pilot testing phases will ensure that community opinions, ideas and suggestions are taken full account of when developing mitigation strategies.
These three components, if delivered, should raise the profile of both target and beneficiary communities, highlight their needs and plights to policy makers and international aid agencies, and empower them to be ‘partners’ with researchers in finding acceptable solutions to their problems. It is anticipated that situation reports for target groups will be published by NARI, MAL and DARD to inform policy makers and other stakeholders of relevant intervention needs, and also submitted to local or international agricultural journals for publication to contribute to global public goods.
Innovative water management & conservation strategies/systems to support agriculture under precipitation excess or deficit conditions, identified/developed, piloted and available to smallholder communities in PNG, SI and Vu: Climate change coupled with increased population densities in PNG, SI and Vu means that better use needs to be made of finite water resources (even in these humid tropical countries) if farm productivity is to satisfy community needs. This Action result is concerned with making available to smallholders in climate stress situations in PNG, SI and Vu, innovative approaches to water management & conservation, acceptable to communities, and capable of supporting agriculture under precipitation excess or deficit conditions.
Crops and crop varieties suitable for cultivation under moisture stress, excess precipitation, or saline soil conditions, identified, piloted and available to smallholder communities in PNG, SI & Vu: Crop improvement programmes by identifying and utilizing suitable exotic and indigenous germplasm can help to overcome climate change imposed constraints on food production and help smallholders to mitigate climate change associated risks to their livelihoods. The Action aims to deliver, as a key result, varieties (existing and newly bred) of sweet potato (the main staple crop in PNG, SI and Vu) plus other high value food and cash crop species (e.g. taro, rice etc) suitable for cultivation under moisture stress, excess precipitation and saline soil conditions, and mechanisms whereby quality planting material can be made available to smallholders.
Livestock and fish production diversification options resilient to excess precipitation, moisture stress or saline soil conditions, and reliant on cost-effective locally produced feed/forages identified, piloted and available to smallholder communities in PNG, SI and Vu: This result is concerned with providing smallholders with options for diversifying their livestock farming systems to make them more resilient to climate change induced stresses through more targeted and innovative use of livestock and livestock feed resources in culturally compatible ways.
Linkages and information/knowledge sharing mechanisms established and/or strengthened between researchers, extension providers and smallholders, providing suitable conditions for smallholder participation/input in the research process and for dissemination/outscaling of new research-based technologies to smallholders in PNG, SI and Vu: This result is concerned with facilitating information and knowledge sharing between researchers, extension providers and smallholders to give all stakeholders a role in the research and development process and to improve the potential for technology dissemination to the wider beneficiary communities. Such linkages and 2 way flows of information and ideas are vital to ensure adoption of technologies and strategies and to make the research process relevant and applicable to the actual needs of the beneficiary communities. Researchers and extension providers will benefit appreciably by having annual regional discussion and review forums and also continuous contact and dialogue in web-based networks or blogs. Smallholders will also benefit considerably by being offered research solutions which they have helped to identify and which are relevant and practical in their needs situations.