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Decision-Making to Diversify Farm Systems for Climate Change Adaptation

Decision-Making to Diversify Farm Systems for Climate Change Adaptation HYPOTHESIS AND THEORY published: 07 April 2020 doi: 10.3389/fsufs.2020.00032 Decision-Making to Diversify Farm Systems for Climate Change Adaptation 1,2 2,3 4 Maarten van Zonneveld *, Marie-Soleil Turmel and Jon Hellin 1 2 3 World Vegetable Center, Shanhua, Taiwan, Bioversity International, Costa Rica Office, Turrialba, Costa Rica, Catholic Relief Services, Baltimore, MD, United States, Sustainable Impact Platform, International Rice Research Institute, Los Baños, Philippines On-farm diversification is a promising strategy for farmers to adapt to climate change. However, few recommendations exist on how to diversify farm systems in ways that best fit the agroecological and socioeconomic challenges farmers face. Farmers’ ability to adopt diversification strategies is often stymied by their aversion to risk, loss of local knowledge, and limited access to agronomic and market information, this is especially the case for smallholders. We outline seven steps on how practitioners and researchers in agricultural development can work with farmers in decision-making about on-farm diversification of cropping, pasture, and agroforestry systems while taking into account these constraints. These seven steps are relevant for all types of farmers but particularly for smallholders in tropical and subtropical regions. It is these farmers who are usually Edited by: most vulnerable to climate change and who are, subsequently, often the target of Timothy Bowles, University of California, Berkeley, climate-smart agriculture (CSA) interventions. Networks of agricultural innovation provide United States an enabling environment for on-farm diversification. These networks connect farmers Reviewed by: and farmer organizations with local, national, or international private companies, public Paul Wilson, University of Nottingham, organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and research institutes. These United Kingdom actors can work with farmers to develop diversified production systems incorporating David Rose, both high-value crops and traditional food production systems. These diversified farm University of Reading, United Kingdom systems with both food and cash crops act as a safety net in the event of price *Correspondence: Maarten van Zonneveld fluctuations or other disruptions to crop value chains. In this way, farmers can adapt maarten.vanzonneveld@worldveg.org their farm systems to climate change in ways that provide greater food security and improved income. Specialty section: This article was submitted to Keywords: on-farm diversification, agroecosystem diversification, climate-smart agriculture, climate variability, Agroecology and Ecosystem Services, crop diversification, diversified farming systems, participatory research, risk management a section of the journal Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems Received: 12 September 2019 INTRODUCTION Accepted: 02 March 2020 Published: 07 April 2020 On-farm diversification is a promising strategy for farmers to adapt to climate change while also Citation: contributing to diverse food production, healthier diets, and a better use of agricultural biodiversity van Zonneveld M, Turmel M-S and (Vermeulen et al., 2012; Waha et al., 2018; Willett et al., 2019). However, few recommendations exist Hellin J (2020) Decision-Making to for farmers, practitioners, and researchers on how to diversify farm systems in ways which best fit Diversify Farm Systems for Climate the agroecological and socioeconomic challenges that farmers face. Change Adaptation. In this paper, we outline seven steps on how to work with farmers in decision-making about Front. Sustain. Food Syst. 4:32. doi: 10.3389/fsufs.2020.00032 on-farm diversification of cropping, pasture, and agroforestry systems (Figure 1). Existing tools Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems | www.frontiersin.org 1 April 2020 | Volume 4 | Article 32 van Zonneveld et al. Diversify Farms for Climate Change Adaptation FIGURE 1 | Decision-making framework to develop, select, evaluate, and implement on-farm diversification strategies for climate change adaptation. We propose seven steps for practitioners and researchers to work with farmers in decision-making. Steps 1–5 help farmers and other actors to collect information to select on-farm diversification options in step 6. After the selection of on-farm diversification options, farmers can evaluate them in step 7 and implement or adjust them or replace them by other on-farm diversification options. This is reflected in a feedback loop between step 6 and 7. The arrows indicate which steps influence other steps in the decision-making framework. The seven steps are useful for all types of farmer but are to select agroecological practices and plant species for on-farm particularly relevant to smallholder farmers. Smallholders are diversification (Altieri et al., 2015; de Sousa et al., 2019) or to often more vulnerable to climate change compared with large- economically optimize crop portfolios (Werners et al., 2011; scale farmers and usually face higher risks when adopting Knoke et al., 2015) cover different considerations in decision- making on on-farm diversification strategies. These tools are new technologies because of lower resource endowments. Smallholder farmers are the main target of interventions, which not always linked to farmers’ goals and constraints, which are embedded in a range of social, economic, ecological, cultural, are collectively known as climate-smart agriculture (CSA). CSA contributes to an increase in global food security and broader and political relationships, and which determine the decisions farmers make about farm management and livelihood options development, secondly enhances farmers’ ability to adapt to climate change, and finally mitigates greenhouse gas emissions (Gardner and Lewis, 1996; Shiferaw et al., 2009). This paper (Lipper et al., 2014). On-farm diversification is a component offers a practical and comprehensive framework, which takes into of CSA, and not only contributes to the realization of the account these different issues in decision-making about on-farm Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 13: Climate Action but diversification, and which brings together agroecological, also of other SDGs, including SDG 1: No Poverty; SDG 2: Zero agrobotanical, social, and economic considerations Hunger; SDG 12 Responsible Consumption and Production; and and recommendations. This decision-making framework is intended for practitioners SDG 15 Life on Land. and researchers in agricultural development. The framework can be used to establish a dialogue with individual farmers or farmer APPROACH groups to develop on-farm diversification strategies with the use of participatory research approaches, which have proved to The seven steps resulted from the authors’ discussions on be successful approaches in the selection and adoption of new existing concepts and tools from literature on climate change agricultural technologies (Carberry et al., 2002; Grothmann and adaptation and on-farm diversification. These concepts have Patt, 2005; Urwin and Jordan, 2008). been presented separately in literature. By connecting these In this framework, we first discuss enabling and disabling concepts, we establish a practical framework for decision-making factors, which warrant consideration when developing to diversify farm systems for climate change adaptation. We focus on-farm diversification strategies. Second, we propose on tropical and subtropical regions where most smallholders live straightforward tools and techniques, which can help and work, and on cropping, pasture, and agroforestry systems as farmers to select on-farm diversification options. Finally, principal components of farm systems in these regions. Many we explain how researchers, practitioners, and farmers examples of crops and traditional production systems in this can apply participatory approaches to evaluate on-farm paper come from Central America and Mexico where each of diversification options. the authors has over 12 years’ work experience complemented Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems | www.frontiersin.org 2 April 2020 | Volume 4 | Article 32 van Zonneveld et al. Diversify Farms for Climate Change Adaptation by extensive experience from Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, farmers often define multiple goals, for example, they consider and South-East Asia. The seven-step decision-making process is cereals for food security; pulses and vegetables for nutrition; cash applicable to other tropical and subtropical regions. crops for increasing income; off-seasons crops and forages for animal production to stabilize income; and finally intercropping Step 1. Defining farmers’ goals: Any initiative to work and field scattering to reduce production risks (Schroth and with farmers starts with understanding the goals of the Ruf, 2014). Different household members, such as women and different farm household members, and identifying how on- men, may have different goals (van de Fliert and Braun, 2002; farm diversification can contribute to these goals (Allen et al., Chaudhury et al., 2013). Participatory approaches have proved 2011). effective in enabling practitioners and researchers to understand Step 2. Assessment of enabling factors: Enabling the goals of different members of farm households (Mazón et al., factors determine the feasibility and potential of on-farm 2016; Dumont et al., 2017). Understanding farmers’ goals is diversification options. Farmers are more willing to select, thus the basis of working with farmers in developing, selecting, evaluate, and implement new diversification strategies in the evaluating, and implementing on-farm diversification strategies. context of an enabling environment consisting of support from farmer organizations and private and public extension STEP 2. ENABLING FACTORS services, and access to credit, insurance, and markets. Step 3. Assessment of disabling factors: Successful adoption Extension of on-farm diversification strategies depends on the extent to A particular challenge is that our proposal to work in a which farmers have the possibility and are willing to invest in participatory way with farmers comes at a time when public labor, financial capital, and learning new skills. extension services have been severely eroded in much of the Step 4. Assessment of current and future climate-related developing world (Umali-Deininger, 1997; Hellin, 2012). Private production risks: On-farm diversification strategies can be extension has increased but there has been a tendency to focus tailored to local conditions when farmers, practitioners, efforts on better-off farmers leaving those in marginal areas and researchers identify the principal climate stresses for with limited services (Hellin, 2012). There are, however, growing current and future agricultural production in their locations examples of innovative extension approaches which include both (Vermeulen et al., 2013). the public and private sector (Chapman and Tripp, 2003). The Step 5. Gap analysis of functional diversity in farm systems: transformation from specialized to diversified farm systems can Farmers and other actors can identify the need for diversifying be fostered by agricultural innovation systems (Schut et al., 2014). their farm systems with new crop functional types, such as In the absence of extension and agricultural innovation systems, cereals with C4 photosynthesis (Lavorel and Garnier, 2002) farmers would need to rely largely on neighboring farmers, or the need for new management practices, such as the farmer organizations, and local knowledge to adapt their farm establishment of shade trees to make farm systems more systems to climate change. resilient against climate changes (Altieri et al., 2015). Step 6. Selection of on-farm diversification options: Farmers Farmer Organization choose crops on the basis of multiple criteria considering The organization of farmers in associations, farmer-to-farmer their goals, enabling and disabling factors, climate-related movements, or other types of social organization can be production risks, and gaps in functional diversity (Coe et al., an effective way to scale practices to diversify farm systems 2014). because these organizations are conduits for the dissemination Step 7. Evaluation and learning: These activities are part of knowledge and information (Shiferaw et al., 2009; Mier et al., of adaptive management. Farmers continuously evaluate and 2018), and allow to establish safety nets for farmers through improve on-farm diversification strategies in dialogue with formal and informal insurance programs (Tucker et al., 2010; other farmers, practitioners, and researchers (Allen et al., Bacon et al., 2014) (Table 1, Examples 1 and 2). Capacity 2011). development on good governance and finance makes farmer organizations more competent, efficient, and transparent, and diminishes dependence on external authorities or donors. With STEP 1. FARMERS’ GOALS these skills, farmer organizations can reduce the risks on “elite capture,” secondly they can access credit from banks and social Any initiative to work with farmers starts with understanding investors to invest in on-farm diversification, and finally they can farmers’ goals and identifying how diversification of their farm connect to networks of agricultural innovation to access markets systems contributes to these goals. Often profit-maximizing and external support (Table 1, Example 2). Farmer organizations approaches, such as Modern Portfolio Theory (MPT) are are thus in principle good partners in selecting, developing, used to determine the optimal number and type of crops or evaluating, and implementing on-farm diversification strategies. land-use systems to manage production risks for a certain expected return on investment under climate change (Figge, Local Knowledge and Neglected and 2004; Werners and Incerti, 2007; Werners et al., 2011). Farmers, especially smallholders, often perceive benefits from on-farm Underutilized Crops diversification in ways which profit-maximizing approaches do At least 7,000 food plant species have been documented and these not necessarily capture. When diversifying their farm systems, provide a rich basket of crop choices (Padulosi et al., 1999). Many Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems | www.frontiersin.org 3 April 2020 | Volume 4 | Article 32 van Zonneveld et al. Diversify Farms for Climate Change Adaptation TABLE 1 | Examples of successful societal, public and private initiatives to support farmers in diversifying their farm systems. Example 1: Over several decades, agroecological farmer-to-farmer networks in Central America, Mexico, and Cuba have reached ten-thousands of farmers (Mier et al., 2018). These networks introduced straightforward agroecological practices enhanced by local experimentation, farmer-to-farmer learning, and training and promotion of farmer extension workers (Holt-Giménez, 2002; Mier et al., 2018). These agroecological practices include the introduction of cover crops and green manures, such as velvet bean (Mucuna pruriens) and jack bean (Canavalia ensiformis), which reduce the sensitivity of farm soils and productivity to hurricane and flooding exposure (Holt-Giménez, 2001, 2002). Example 2: Smallholder coffee farmers who are members of associations in Guatemala and Nicaragua have been able to access training on and inputs for agroecological practices, access formal and informal safety nets, and export coffee (Coffea arabica) at a premium price (Bacon et al., 2014; Morris et al., 2016; Winget et al., 2017). Among agroecological practices, shade tree species, such as cocoashade (Gliricia sepium) and salmwood (Cordia alliodora), are commonly used to stabilize above ground temperatures in Mesoamerican coffee systems (Lin, 2007). Example 3: Associations of gastronomy and avant-garde chefs in Peru have promoted a cuisine with neglected and underutilized crops to a wider public, including native Capsicum peppers, native potatoes, and local fruit species (Hellin and Higman, 2005; Matta, 2013). Example 4: The vegetable seed company East-West Seed successfully scaled and diversified the production of vegetables in Southeast Asia and other regions. East- West Seed produces seeds of 60 crops and 1,000 varieties to support diverse vegetable farm systems. As part of their seed sales, East-West Seed sold 25 million one-dollar seed packs, which are accessible to smallholders (East-West Seed, 2016). In 2019, East-West Seed received the World Food Prize in recognition of their impact in creating sustainable economic opportunities for small farmers around the world over the last four decades. Example 5: In Kenya and Tanzania, national and international agricultural research organizations, local and international seed companies, governmental and farmer organizations collaborate in a network to promote variety and seed system development of traditional African vegetables, such as African eggplant (Solanum aethiopicum), leafy nightshade (Solanum scabrum), and spider plant (Cleome gynandra) (Dinssa et al., 2016; Stoilova et al., 2019). One of the most-promising traditional vegetables in East Africa is leafy amaranth (Amaranthus spp.), a hardy and nutritious C4 crop. In 2017, about 231,000 farmers in Kenya and Tanzania increased their yield by growing improved amaranth varieties. These varieties are developed, distributed, and commercialized through this network in response to increased urban demand for leafy amaranth in East Africa (Ochieng et al., 2019). Example 6: An example of where index insurance can enhance on-farm diversification is in Ethiopia. The World Food Program (WFP), Oxfam, and partners have initiated the R4 Rural Resilience Initiative. The initiative includes insurance as part of a larger climate-change adjustment program, which includes tree-planting and soil and water conservation. The program uses the work-for-assets model, enabling farmers to accumulate individual and/or group savings, which provide a “risk reserve.” The initiative added an insurance component. In return for their work, farmers get access to an insurance scheme (Greatrex et al., 2015). Example 7: Participatory prioritization and capacity building enhanced farmer uptake of native tree species in Costa Rica, Colombia, and Mexico where cattle ranchers successfully have implemented climate-resilient silvopastoral systems with native tree species (Murgueitio et al., 2011; Bozzano et al., 2014). Example 8: In Brazil, governmental organizations, NGOs, and agricultural research institutes have collaborated to advocate for policies to promote the consumption of native foods. This has led to the publication of a national ordinance which officially recognizes the nutritional value of more than 60 native food plants (Beltrame et al., 2016). This has led to the inclusion of these species in subnational and local programs of school feeding food procurement. Farmers who participate in these programs can diversify their farms with nutritious food plants because the mediated food-procurement market provides an incentive to do so (Wittman and Blesh, 2017). Example 9: An example of these agricultural innovation systems are consortia of research institutes and seed companies, which provide farmers with affordable seeds of improved vegetable lines and as a conduit for feedback between seed suppliers and farmers (Schreinemachers et al., 2017b; Ochieng et al., 2019). are neglected and underutilized (National Research Council, The promotion of these neglected and underutilized crops 1989; Clement, 1999). These species could become important is complex and requires actions at both the supply side to for food security under changing climate conditions because incite farmers to continue using these crops and demand side they have evolved during a long history of human selection to persuade consumers to incorporate these crops in their diets. and fluctuating climate conditions (Mercer and Perales, 2010; Here we name three approaches to provide incentives to farmers’ Padulosi et al., 2011). Some examples of promising species for use of neglected and underutilized crops to diversify farm diversification and climate change adaptation are provided in systems. First, within each community, commonly a few farmers Table 2. are knowledge hubs on the management of these neglected and Farmers in traditional communities have commonly underutilized crops (Altieri and Merrick, 1987; Sthapit et al., diversified their farm systems with these crops to manage 2013). These persons are custodian or lighthouse farmers who production risks related to unpredictable weather cycles merit recognition in society and who can be encouraged to share (Winterhalder et al., 1999; Matsuda, 2013; Altieri et al., their knowledge with other farmers as well as with practitioners 2015). Much of the local knowledge associated with growing and researchers. Second, empowerment of women in agriculture neglected and underutilized crops is at risk of extirpation increases the options for on-farm diversification because both due to changing diets, reduced interest by young people in men and women maintain exclusive and complementary agriculture, and shifts in production systems under climate knowledge about crops and farm management (Padulosi et al., change (Padulosi et al., 2011; Khoury et al., 2014). With 2011). Because female-headed farm systems are not necessary this loss, farmers have fewer diversification options. This more diverse than male-headed ones (Saenz and Thompson, makes them more vulnerable to climate change. Finally, the 2017), it is important to understand the complementary impacts decline of production and consumption of these neglected of women and men’s choices on the diversification of farm and underutilized crops leads to the disappearance of local systems (Farnworth et al., 2016). Finally, the identification and varieties whose traits for adaptation to climate stresses are development of niche markets and new uses of neglected and not only important to local farmers but also for research and underutilized crops can stimulate their production and the breeding by the global agricultural research community (Table 3, maintenance of local knowledge (Table 1, Example 3). There are, Example 1). hence, several strategies to maintain and use local knowledge Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems | www.frontiersin.org 4 April 2020 | Volume 4 | Article 32 van Zonneveld et al. Diversify Farms for Climate Change Adaptation TABLE 2 | Crop functional types and crop examples to diversify in response to various climate stresses. Climate Crop functional type Trait examples Crop examples References stress Drought and Dryland hardwood Deep root architecture, Mesquite (Prosopis spp.), glassywood Borchert, 1994; Holmgren et al., water scarcity trees phenological drought escape, (Astronium graveolens) 2006; Nabhan, 2013 deciduous Tropical dryland Water storage, deep root Hog plum (Spondias spp.), pochote Borchert, 1994 lightwood trees architecture, phenological (Pachira fendleri), baobab (Adansonia drought escape, deciduous digitata) C4 perennial forage C4 photosynthesis, deep root Guinea grass (Panicum maximum) Cattivelli et al., 2008; Lopes et al., grasses architecture 2011 Crassulacean Acid CAM metabolism, deep root Nopal (Opuntia ficus-indica), maguey and Yang et al., 2015 Metabolism (CAM) architecture, phenological other agaves (Agave spp.), pitayas crops drought escape, water storage (Echinocereus spp., Stenocereus spp. Hylocereus undatus) C4 cereals C4 metabolism, deep root Maize (Zea mays), sorghum (Sorghum Lopes et al., 2011; Cheng et al., 2017 architecture, phenological bicolor), teff (Eragrostis tef) drought escape Legumes Phenological drought escape, Chick pea (Cicer arietinum), cowpea Subbarao et al., 1995; Ehlers and water use efficiency, deep root (Vigna unguiculata), mungbean (V. radiata), Hall, 1997; Graham and Vance, 2003; structure moth bean (V. aconitifolia) Iseki et al., 2018; Yundaeng et al., Tropical root crops Stomatal control, shift in leaf Cassava (Manihot esculenta) Bondeau et al., 2007; El-Sharkawy, size, recovery of photosynthesis 2007 Flooding and Tropical floodplain trees Dormancy and periodic growth, Camu-camu (Mycriara dubia), acupari Peters and Vásquez, 1987; Parolin, waterlogging and shrubs xeromorphic leave traits, starch (Garcinia brasiliensis) 2009 storage in roots Aquatic grasses (forage Root aeration, elongation growth Rice (Oryza spp.) brachiaria grasses (B. Sairam et al., 2008; Bailey-Serres and grains) response humidicola), teff, sorghum et al., 2012; Cardoso et al., 2013 Swamp palms Dormancy and periodic growth, Aguaje palm (Mauritia flexuosa), Kahn, 1991; Schluter et al., 1993 root aerenchyma chambirilla (Astrocaryum jauari) Heat Tropical leguminous Changes in concentrations of Mesquite, cocoashade (Gliricia sepium) Felker et al., 1983; Ortiz and trees regulatory proteins Cardemil, 2001; Nabhan, 2013 CAM crops Not found Pineapple (Ananas comosus) Yamada et al., 1996; Yang et al., 2015 C4 cereals Not found Maize Wahid et al., 2007 Tropical Legumes Heat escape, stabilizing Cowpea, moth bean, yard-long bean Ehlers and Hall, 1997; Wahid et al., mechanisms of cell membrane (Vinga unguiculata group sesquipedalis) 2007; Yundaeng et al., 2019 integrity, improved pod set under hot conditions Palms Not found Cocos (Cocos nucifera), date (Phoenix Yamada et al., 1996; Nabhan, 2013 dactylifera) Frost Temperate cereals Hardening Oats (Avena sativa) Rizza et al., 2001; Yadav, 2010 Temperate legumes Hardening Faba bean (Vicia faba) Arbaoui and Link, 2008 This list is not exhaustive and just provide some crop examples per crop functional type. on neglected and underutilized crops to promote diversified Stoilova et al., 2019) and when these suppliers strengthen their farm systems. germplasm production capacity (Schreinemachers et al., 2017a). The desired type of seed system differs between crop groups Getting the Right Variety and should be defined per crop and region (Louwaars and de Farmers often struggle to find planting material of crops Boef, 2012). For example, public-private networks of research with high potential for on-farm diversification even though institutes and local, national, and international seed companies have proven to be successful to scale the supply of affordable appropriate varieties are often available at agricultural institutions or maintained by neighboring farmers (Jarvis and high-quality vegetable seeds (Schreinemachers et al., 2017a) et al., 2011). Due to weak formal and informal seed systems, (Table 1, Examples 4 and 5). Aside from fostering farmers’ access farmers are not always able to access germplasm of appropriate to commercial and public germplasm in formal seed systems, varieties and diversify their farm systems. Farmers can access farmer communities across the world successfully establish more varied germplasm when they are better connected to networks to conserve, use, and exchange germplasm of local public and private germplasm suppliers (Coomes et al., 2015; varieties and associated knowledge (Coomes et al., 2015; Vernooy Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems | www.frontiersin.org 5 April 2020 | Volume 4 | Article 32 van Zonneveld et al. Diversify Farms for Climate Change Adaptation TABLE 3 | Examples of on-farm diversification constraints related to market dynamics. Example 1: In the central highlands of Mexico, farmers traditionally intercrop maize (Zea mays) and common beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) with maguey (Agave atrovirens), a neglected crop, which is adapted to dry conditions because of its Crassulacean Acid Metabolism (CAM) photosynthetic apparatus. Production of aguamiel from maguey, a natural sweetener and raw material for production of a traditionally fermented beverage, can provide an additional source of income (Eakin, 2005). In recent years, the demand for aguamiel has decreased as consumer preferences have changed. Without a market, farmers have largely stopped growing maguey and increasingly they grow only maize and common beans. This puts them in a vulnerable position as both crops are more susceptible to drought, frost and hail damage compared with maguey. Example 2: In 2012 and 2013, many Mesoamerican coffee smallholder families suffered from hunger because coffee rust wiped out their coffee crop (Coffea arabica). Coffee rust thrived because of the interplay of poor management as a result of low coffee prices and unfavorable temperatures (Avelino et al., 2015). Many coffee farmers received technical and monetary support because of their affiliation to cooperatives and fair-trade schemes. While these safety nets helped many farmers to compensate for income loss and to manage coffee rust, these safety nets were not sufficient to protect all farmers and farm laborers (Morris et al., 2016). In addition, to further sustain food security, farmer organizations in Nicaragua have established grain banks for Central American smallholder coffee producers who suffer seasonal hunger (Bacon et al., 2014). Food insecurity was highest in households of coffee laborers without alternative income sources and coffee smallholder families who had abandoned or reduced the areas dedicated to traditional food crops (Avelino et al., 2015). Farmers’ safety nets can be strengthened when these are combined with technical and financial support to diversify farm systems with food crops for subsistence and income generation from local markets. Farm laborers are the most vulnerable because they lack land for food production and would need to diversify their income sources with other off-farm activities. Example 3: Nutrition of some households In the western highlands of Guatemala has declined when farmers started to grow exclusively high-value vegetable crops for export markets (Webb et al., 2016). Some of these vegetable farmers stopped growing or consuming nutrient-rich crops from traditional diversified farm systems characterized by Milpa system of maize, common beans, and associated crops. High-value crops may require large investments in fertilizer and other inputs; financial pressures may encourage producers to invest in commercial production, abandon traditional agriculture, and consume low-quality processed food (Webb et al., 2016). More research is required to understand when and how the replacement of food by cash crops affects the nutrition status of farm household members. et al., 2017). The promotion of promising crops to diversify Whole-farm insurances could be another promising farm systems requires an assessment of the existing formal and insurance measure to provide farmers an incentive to informal seed systems to strengthen, where necessary, germplasm diversify farm systems (Hart et al., 2006; Turvey, 2012). quality and supply in collaboration with farmer organizations, What whole-farm and index insurances have in common is that NGOs, breeders, genebanks, and private and public suppliers of combining agricultural insurance with on-farm diversification planting material. benefits both farmers and insurance providers. Diversified farm systems can stabilize income and productivity and Insurance reduce the risks and corresponding premia of insurance. A Risk aversion on the part of farmers, especially smallholders, is recommendation is to develop policies and incentives for an obstacle to the adoption of new crops, varieties, and novel innovative insurance services, which support and promote management practices (Lee, 2005). Weather shocks, such as on-farm diversification. drought, can trap farm households in poverty because the risk of the shocks limits farmers’ willingness and capacity to invest Markets in on-farm diversification strategies (Dick et al., 2011; Carter High-value crops, such as fruit and vegetable species, have been et al., 2016). For example, fire risk in drought-prone areas limits identified as promising crops to diversify farm systems and to farmers to diversify farm systems with tree species (Jacobi et al., increase farmers’ net income (Joshi et al., 2004; Pingali, 2007; 2017). As a complement to on-farm diversification, agricultural Birthal et al., 2015). Vegetable species are of special interest insurance against yield loss mitigates the risks farmers face and because in general they have short rotation cycles and can encourages them to diversify their farm systems (Bobojonov provide quick and year-round returns (Schreinemachers et al., et al., 2013). 2018). Market access may, however, be limited to large-scale One approach gaining much attention is index insurance. farmers as smallholders often lack capital to make investments With index insurance, payouts are based on an index, such as to convert a semi- or fully-subsistence farm system into a the total seasonal rainfall or average crop yield for a larger area. commercial farm system (Pingali, 2007; Eakin et al., 2012). Many This index reduces the costs of insuring individual farmers (Bell high-value crops, such as leafy vegetables, are perishable and et al., 2013). Furthermore, the insurance is based on a reliable and this often requires additional investments in post-harvesting independently verifiable index and can be reinsured, allowing and transportation. Finally, smallholders can be particularly insurance companies to transfer part of their risk to international vulnerable to fluctuating market prices (Eakin, 2003; Carletto markets (Binswanger-Mkhize, 2012). Index insurance can be et al., 2010). Linking farmers, especially smallholders, to bundled with climate-adapted germplasm or cropping systems markets therefore requires support by governments, food to encourage farmers to invest in crop productivity (Bobojonov processors, and distributors to strengthen post-harvesting et al., 2013) (Table 1, Example 6). facilities, distribution channels, stable production supply, Index insurance, however, is not a perfect predictor of an and insurance. individual loss. The difference between the farmers’ actual losses Farmers tend to focus on one or a few crops to meet quality and the expected payout is known as basis risk; it may result in demands. However, a sole focus on one or two high-value cash a farmer suffering a yield loss, but not receiving a payout, or in crops in a farm system can be a risk for food security and a payout without the farmer experiencing any loss (Dick et al., livelihoods for individual farm households as well as for local 2011; Miranda and Farrin, 2012). economies (Immink and Alarcon, 1991; Chakrabarti and Kundu, Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems | www.frontiersin.org 6 April 2020 | Volume 4 | Article 32 van Zonneveld et al. Diversify Farms for Climate Change Adaptation 2009) (Table 3, Examples 2 and 3). Rather than focusing solely Farm Size and Land Ownership on one or two cash crops, farmers may therefore opt to manage Although farm size is thought to be a constraint for several crops and varieties with different production and price diversification, we did not find a clear correlation between risks, to meet food and nutrition security goals, and increase net farm size and on-farm diversification. As part of a systematic income (Table 4, Example 1). literature review, which included 13 detailed studies, six reported that on-farm diversification increases with farm size; four studies reported no effect; and three studies reported that on-farm STEP 3. DISABLING FACTORS diversification reduces with farm size (Table S1). There is thus scant evidence that farm size is an enabling factor or Scale Effects Scale effects leading to crop and farm specialization may be constraint for on-farm diversification. Our recommendations to diversify farms are therefore relevant for different stronger drivers than those leading to on-farm diversification. Such specialization can occur in the case of commodities where farm sizes. there is a demand for large quantities and where sophisticated We found only a few studies, which consider land ownership and product-specific technical packages drive monocultures. as a factor in diversification (Lawin and Tamini, 2017; Asante Such can be the case for oil palm (Elaeis guineensis), sugarcane et al., 2018). These studies showed no relationship between (Saccharum officinarum), and soybean (Glycine max). Indeed, land ownership and diversified farms. More research is needed for several decades, research and development efforts in the to understand better if there is any relation between these agricultural sector of many countries support technologies, two variables. which reinforce scale effects and favor specialization (Griffon, 2006; Pingali, 2012). Agricultural subsidies in countries, such as STEP 4. CURRENT AND FUTURE Mexico, Bolivia, and Zambia support large-scale monocultures rather than diversified production systems (Eakin and Wehbe, CLIMATE-RELATED PRODUCTION RISKS 2009; Jacobi et al., 2017; Saenz and Thompson, 2017). With more research investment and policy support, scalable Farmer perceptions of weather cycles and climate change and economically-feasible diversification practices can be are a good starting point for identifying climate risks. Their developed. So far, scaling of species mixtures has been successful knowledge may need to be combined with formal predictions for pasture and cover crops because these mixtures increase to reduce bias from their recent experiences and to reflect long- productivity without extra management costs (Bybee-Finley term climate trends. Once climate risks are identified, crops, et al., 2018) (Table 4, Example 2). The wide-scale introduction varieties, and management practices can be selected to manage of high-quality seed of vegetable crops to smallholder farmers in these risks. Climate models with projections in climate change under Southeast Asia during the last decades is a successful example on how to scale diversification of farm systems with high-value different economic and climatic scenarios allow for predictions of climate change impact on crop production for the next decades crops (Schreinemachers et al., 2018) (Table 1, Example 4). (Lobell et al., 2008; Baca et al., 2014; de Sousa et al., 2019). Labor Constraints The main purpose of these models is to reduce uncertainty Any on-farm diversification option should save labor and/or in decision-making rather than to give precise predictions increase and/or stabilize net income to make it an attractive (Vermeulen et al., 2013). These models are relevant for planting option for climate change adaptation (Lee, 2005). Labor saving decisions for both annual and perennial commodities, such as is urgent because climate change is predicted to reduce farming soybean and coffee (Coffea spp.), for which a whole infrastructure labor capacity in tropical regions by up to 50–80% in peak needs to be maintained or put in place. Even in the case of months of heat stress (Dunne et al., 2013; Myers et al., 2017). the introduction of non-commodities, time may be required to Diversification with cover crops and shade trees can reduce develop seed systems and to develop the capacity of farmers who the labor costs of weed control (Raintree and Warner, 1986; are interested in growing these crops. Holt-Giménez, 2006; Liebman and Dyck, 2007) or fertilizer Climate models, which use historic climate trends, help to input in the case of cocoa agroforestry systems (Armengot predict trends in climate stress for shorter time spans compared et al., 2016). However, often diversified farm systems require with the decadal predictions of climate models on the basis of more labor compared with less complex systems (Bacon projections in climate change. To be effective, the results of these et al., 2012). This has been the case for diversified rice models have to be communicated clearly to farmers (Pulwarty systems and cocoa systems (Pingali, 1992; Armengot et al., and Sivakumar, 2014). The Famine Early Warning Systems 2016). The introduction of high-value crops, such as fruit Network (FEWS NET), for example, provides rainfall predictions and vegetable species could be an alternative diversification for the next 10–365 days on the basis of high-resolution rainfall strategy to increase or stabilize net income (Joshi et al., and hydrological models (Senay et al., 2015). These predictions 2004). Finally, diversification strategies, which improve on-farm allow farmers and other actors in the value chain to anticipate climate conditions, such as the establishment of shade trees can and adjust cropping systems to water scarcity or surplus. High- eventually improve labor conditions because while they may quality modeling in combination with good communication is require a large initial labor input this tails off substantially after thus essential to provide farmers meaningful information about tree establishment. current and future climate risks. Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems | www.frontiersin.org 7 April 2020 | Volume 4 | Article 32 van Zonneveld et al. Diversify Farms for Climate Change Adaptation TABLE 4 | Successful examples of diversified cropping, pasture, and agroforestry systems. Example 1: In the semi-arid regions of Myanmar, farmers manage a diversified cropping system with cash crops, such as cotton (Gossypium spp.) and sesame (Sesamum indicum), and food crops, such as rice (Oryza spp.), pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan), and mungbean (Vigna radiata) (Matsuda, 2013). This diversified farm system provides multiple income and subsistence sources under uncertain weather conditions. Example 2: Species mixtures have a high potential to diversify pasture lands because the diversification of sowing material does not substantially increase labor costs for a farmer and will increase and stabilize productivity. Pot experiments show that diversified pasture lands with multiple genotypes and multiple species increase the stability and productivity for meat and milk production under climate variability (Prieto et al., 2015). Legumes have a high potential to augment the functional trait diversity of tropical pastures (Schultze-Kraft et al., 2018). A large range of legume crops is available for different tropical agroecological zones (Schultze-Kraft et al., 2018). Example 3: The traditional Milpa system with maize (Zea mays), common beans (Phaseolus vulgaris), squash (Cucurbita spp.), and other crops is still an important cropping system in Mexico and Central America for the food security of many smallholder farmers (Isakson, 2009; Salazar-Barrientos et al., 2016). The Milpa system can be combined with growing export cash crops, such as coffee to get a diversified farm system, which meets multiple farmers’ goals related to income and food security (Morris et al., 2016). The Milpa system combines different functional traits including C4 cereals and legumes. The system rotates maize and beans and can be adapted to different climate conditions using different types of varieties and different types of rotation systems (Trouche et al., 2006). Several crops can be intercropped with maize, such as cucurbits (Salazar-Barrientos et al., 2016). When climate conditions are too dry for maize, this crop can be replaced by sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) (Trouche et al., 2006). Example 4: In the high-altitude regions of central Mexico, late season frost is a major threat to maize production. Changing climate has resulted in the late arrival of spring rains, a delay to the planting date and an increase in the risk of late season frost. Mexican farmers in these frost-prone areas minimize risk by diversifying their production area with more frost tolerant crops, such as oats (Avena sativa) and fava beans (Vicia faba) (Espitia Rangel et al., 2007; Maqbool et al., 2010). Maize is still the preferred crop and has a high market demand, so farmers tend to adjust the crop area based on the planting date; the later the planting date, the smaller the area planted with maize and the greater the area planted to a crop with higher frost tolerance (Eakin, 2005). Example 5: In the dry corridor of Central America and Yucatan peninsula, fruit trees provide a safety net in the dry season. Indigenous communities traditionally relied on Maya nut (Brosimum alicastrum) and other food tree species to cope with failed harvests in dry years (Gómez-Pompa, 1987). These trees were removed from the landscape to make way for more intensive farming practices. Different seed sources of Maya nut have now been identified for replanting in home gardens for food security in times of drought and to have a reliable forage supply for cattle (Vohman and Monro, 2011). Example 6: In East Africa, a drought-tolerant legume crop, desmodium (Desmodium intortum) has been tested successfully as an intercrop to repel stemborer moths from C4 maize-production systems in combination with the perennial C4 grass Brachiaria cv mulato which is planted in field borders to attract this pest (Midega et al., 2018). STEP 5. GAP ANALYSIS OF FUNCTIONAL practices provide a rich source of possibilities for rotations, intercropping, and agroforestry systems (Eakin, 2005; Hellin and DIVERSITY IN FARM SYSTEMS Dixon, 2008; Isakson, 2009) (Table 4, Example 3). Traditional polyculture systems can fall into disuse because of labor By filling functional gaps in farm systems, farmers can stabilize and even increase primary productivity of their farm systems constraints, poor markets, and erosion of local knowledge. It under climate change. This occurs via two distinct but linked is therefore important to address these economic and cultural constraints in order to maintain and improve traditional systems, agroecological mechanisms. First, diversification with crops and varieties, each with a differential response to climate stresses, and introduce new systems as well. Crop functional types help to differentiate between crops, stabilizes primary productivity in agroecosystems under climate variability. The second mechanism is related to diversification of which, because of their physiological differences, tolerate different types and different levels of climate stress (Table 2). For crops and management practices to foster ecological functions. Ecological functions increase and stabilize primary productivity polycultures, farmers ideally choose crops, which besides their differentiated tolerance to climate stresses, have complementary in farm systems and include climate regulation, water storage, nutrient cycling, and pest regulation. By understanding these traits to reduce competition for similar resources, such as different rooting depths, complementary nutrient requirements, two agroecological mechanisms and translating that knowledge into practical recommendations for decision-making, farmers and differential light interception patterns (Brooker et al., 2015). In this way, farmers can minimize competition for light, can make informed choices about adapting their farm systems to water, and nutrients between crops, and avoid production and climate change. income loss. The upper temperature ranges for the production of many Crop Choices for Differential Responses to ◦ ◦ crops is below 40 C while temperature conditions above 40 C Climate Stresses become more prevalent in tropical growing areas (Farooq et al., Spatial diversification stabilizes primary productivity of farm 2017). Only a limited amount of crops can adapt to temperatures systems under climate variability when crops with differential above 40 C, either through short growth seasons or by coping responses to climate stresses are grown in polycultures or in with high temperatures during sensitive development stages, separate fields. These crops expand together the physiological such as pollen development, fruit setting, and grain filling (Wahid range to produce a minimum yield under different climate et al., 2007; Barnabás et al., 2008). Table 2 gives a few examples conditions. In addition to physiological range expansion, positive of the crops which are reported to be strong candidates for plant interactions and niche complementary further increase and agricultural production under hot conditions. In contrast, low temperatures can cause production risks in mountain areas in stabilize agricultural productivity (Brookfield, 2001; Malézieux et al., 2009). tropical and subtropical regions (Table 4, Example 4). Plant production is principally limited by lack or excess of When considering polycultures to diversify farm systems in a specific area, local knowledge on crops and management water. Drought and flooding events have occurred with greater Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems | www.frontiersin.org 8 April 2020 | Volume 4 | Article 32 van Zonneveld et al. Diversify Farms for Climate Change Adaptation frequency over the past 50 years and the trend is predicted to some cereals, such as maize, landraces could be good choices in continue (Lobell et al., 2008). Despite the vulnerability of many strategies of on-farm diversification because they contain high plant species to drier conditions (McCord et al., 2015), a wide levels of genetic variation, which enable landraces to evolve under range of species is adapted to dry conditions in rain-fed systems. the interplay of human selection and climate change (Mercer Table 2 includes a few examples of species, which are reported and Perales, 2010; Vigouroux et al., 2011). Evaluation of these to be strong candidates for on-farm diversification of rain-fed landraces in different environments helps shed light on their systems under increasing drought conditions. potential for climate change adaptation and in breeding strategies C4-metabolism crops, such as maize (Zea mays) and sorghum in a similar way to the search for climate-adapted durum wheat (Sorghum spp.) have in general a high water-use efficiency and are landraces (Ceccarelli, 2015; Mengistu et al., 2016). better in tolerating water stress compared with C3-metabolism Even though breeders use advanced technologies, such as crops, such as wheat (Tritricum spp.) and sunflower (Helianthus genomic selection and editing to develop varieties with multiple annuus) because of their more efficient photosynthetic apparatus traits to tolerate climate stresses (Tester and Langridge, 2010; (Zhang and Kirkham, 1995; Nayyar and Gupta, 2006). This Mousavi-Derazmahalleh et al., 2019), it remains a challenge to makes C4 crops potential candidates for production under dry stack these traits in single varieties (Mercer and Perales, 2010). and hot conditions, although several C4 crops may be susceptible Alternatively, a traditional approach is to grow multiple varieties to water stress because of the wide diversity in C4 plant evolution of the same crop to respond to multiple stresses (Jarvis et al., 2008; (Ghannoum, 2009). Crassulacean Acid Metabolism (CAM) crops Matsuda, 2013; Salazar-Barrientos et al., 2016). Farmers can thus use significantly less water and can grow in higher temperatures diversify their farm systems by growing both multiple crops and compared with C3 and C4 crops. Some CAM crops, such as varietal mixtures. In the same line, livestock and feed producers pineapple (Ananas comosus) are commercial crops. The majority may prefer pasturelands, which are both rich in grass species and of CAM crops, however, are neglected or underutilized (Mizrahi rich in genotypes because these pasturelands are more productive et al., 2007; Yang et al., 2015). and recover better after extreme events, compared with less Tree planting is a common on-farm diversification strategy diverse ones in the same biotope (MacDougall et al., 2013; Prieto to improve microclimates after their establishment (Bryan et al., et al., 2015). 2009; Meldrum et al., 2018). Native tree species may be preferred candidates for diversification (Table 1, Example 7; Table 2). Crop Choices and Management Practices Since most tree species are wild or at an incipient stages of domestication, some exotic tree species can become invasive, to Foster Ecological Functions such as the American species Prosopis juliflora in African Diversification of farm systems in space and time can foster countries (Richardson, 1998), or can be highly competitive for ecological functions, such as climate regulation, water storage, water, such as Eucalyptus spp. and may outcompete understory nutrient cycling, and pest regulation. Farmers may find it useful crops under drought-stress conditions (Saxena, 1991; German to use a straightforward checklist of management practices, et al., 2006). Native food tree species provide also a reliable food which foster ecological functions to improve their farm systems source for farmer households in lean months (Graefe et al., 2012; (Table 5). Bacon et al., 2014) (Table 4, Example 5). Despite their potential Microclimates can be regulated by tree shade, which buffers importance for food and nutrition security, there is generally a against high temperatures above ground and in some cases lack of focus on these tree species in people’s diets under climate prevent frost damage (Barradas and Fanjul, 1986; Caramori et al., seasonality and inter-annual variability (Rowland et al., 2015). 1996) (Table 1, Example 2). Forage tree and shrub species, which As periods of drought become longer and more frequent, are planted along field borders, provide a wind-break to maintain farmers may need to replace water-competitive shade trees with moisture levels in agriculture fields (Holt-Giménez, 2002), and species, which are less water demanding. The pruning of tree are a source of animal fodder in times of drought (Kort, 1988; species reduces water stress and allows farmers to manage shade Tamang et al., 2010). Tree species can therefore be selected for (Bayala et al., 2002) while also providing mulch to conserve soils multiple goals in farm systems including for food or fodder and retain soil moisture (Hellin et al., 1999). production and to maintain ecological functions. With respect to water excess, food tree species from tropical On-farm diversification with cover crops and green manures floodplains and swamps, such as many palm species, tolerate long can improve and conserve soil by building up organic matter, periods of waterlogging (Table 2). In a similar line, sugarcane and adding nitrogen, improving soil structure, and reducing soil perennial forage grasses, such as Brachiaria spp., can withstand erosion (Cong et al., 2014). As a consequence, soil fertility, waterlogging conditions (Cardoso et al., 2013; Gomathi et al., infiltration, water holding capacity, and soil moisture can 2014). As with tree species, native forage grasses may be preferred increase, and with that the crops’ ability to cope with drought because of the risk that exotic ones become invasive (DiTomaso, (Erenstein, 2003; Waraich et al., 2011). However, under humid 2000). conditions and on poorly drained soils, mulching can cause Many traits related to stress tolerance can be found at variety waterlogging resulting in lower yields (Giller et al., 2009). Some level. Major advances have been made in breeding to increase cover crops are competitive for water, and if intercropped, they drought tolerance of main cereal crops, such as maize (Cairns can reduce the yields of the main crop under water limiting et al., 2013). Nevertheless, farmers may still want to diversify conditions. Therefore, selection of soil-improving intercrops with drought-tolerant minor cereals and legumes (Table 2). For or relay crops, which are water efficient, is important in Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems | www.frontiersin.org 9 April 2020 | Volume 4 | Article 32 van Zonneveld et al. Diversify Farms for Climate Change Adaptation TABLE 5 | Diversification strategies to maintain or include ecological functions in farm systems. Ecological function Climate related stress Mechanism Functional types Diversification strategy Microclimate regulation and Excess heat Block solar radiation, Shade producing plants, Plant trees to increase canopy density shade provision cooling trees and shrubs Disturbance regulation Strong winds, typhoon Physical wind break Trees and shrubs, coastal Place of hedgerows and wind breaks mangroves Water regulation Excess water, extreme rain Improved soil structure and Deep rooting plants, trees events drainage and shrubs Soil retention Extreme wind and rain Physical soil stabilization, Shrubs, trees, grasses, and Used as living barriers in sloping land events protection of soil surface cover crops and soil cover in annual systems Soil formation and nutrient Drought, cold-associated Improved soil structure and Biomass-producing crops, Residue retention and reduced tillage, cycling hydric stress nutrient retention leguminous plants intercropping, relay cropping, pruning leguminous trees Biological regulation Shifts in pest and disease Habitat diversification, Crop/pest specific Intercropping, planting in field borders ranges and pressures predator habitat provision, trap crops, microclimate management drought-prone environments. Alternative management options multiple spatial scales makes farms more resilient against extreme in semi-arid regions include external biomass input from weather events. hedgerows or woodlots and establishment of rotation schemes Caution is needed when introducing a new crop into a farm with cover crops. system since it can be a host of new crop diseases (Marshall, 1977; Crop residue incorporation is an important practice to Anderson et al., 2004). Often, however, it is only a question of improve soil quality (Turmel et al., 2015). In mixed cropping time until a pest or disease arrives because of globalized food and livestock systems, especially in semi-arid areas, trade-offs export and import, and shifting distributions of pest and diseases exist between using residues for fodder or soil cover (Giller due to climate change (Shaw and Osborne, 2011; Bebber et al., et al., 2009). In many areas, however, farmers require these 2013). On-farm diversification is therefore a good preparation residues for animal feed and in some cases they earn more for when these pests or diseases arrive. First, crop diversification from selling the residues for feed than they can from the maize may reduce the risk of pest and disease outbreaks related they grow (Beuchelt et al., 2015). If farmers leave at least a to monoculture host plants (Rosenzweig et al., 2001). Some portion of their residues in their fields, then they provide soil pests and pathogens, however, use a wide range of host plants, cover and build organic matter (Turmel et al., 2015). Alternative which limits the potential of crop diversification for preventing biomass-producing crops and sources of forages and soil cover these outbreaks (Ratnadass et al., 2011). Second, heterogeneity can be introduced in intercropping, agroforestry, or silvopastoral in vegetation and crops obstruct pest movement and provide systems to address these needs. habitats for natural pest enemies (Avelino et al., 2012). Finally, Holt-Giménez (2002) showed how diversification of a wide range of plant species, which repel or attract pests, is Nicaraguan farm systems with agroecological practices, available to farmers. By understanding which climate stresses such as soil cover, windbreaks, crop rotation, and alley these plant species tolerate, they can be selected for pest control cropping, protected farmers’ fields during extreme weather under changing climate conditions (Table 4, Example 6). events compared with farmers’ conventional practices (Table 1, Example 1). This evidence suggests that diversification enables STEP 6. SELECTION OF ON-FARM farm systems to recover more quickly from extreme weather DIVERSIFICATION OPTIONS events compared with uniform farm systems. Diversification across multiple spatial scales beyond the farm To support on-farm diversification, all the relevant information level is thought to further stabilize micro and mesoclimates and mentioned in steps 1 to 5 can be combined in a decision make farm systems more resilient against extreme weather events model, which captures multiple criteria (Figure 2). For many (Kremen et al., 2012). Forest patches surrounding cropping crops no exact information about markets and optimal growing systems and pasturelands may control rainfall distributions and conditions exist. Alternatively, ranking and scaling by a group regulate temperatures at meso-level, but more evidence is needed of persons already provides robust estimates and comparisons (Teuling et al., 2010; Lawrence and Vandecar, 2015). Preliminary (Hubbard, 2014; van Etten et al., 2016). These straightforward evidence show that farm systems in a diversified landscape indeed scoring approaches help determine which crops, varieties, and recover more quickly from extreme weather events compared management practices are more appropriate for farmers’ goals, with farm systems in uniform landscapes but the finding are not such as income stability, food security, and/or nutrition; which yet conclusive (Philpott et al., 2008; Gil et al., 2017). Monitoring crops and varieties require more or less labor, and so on. farm systems in areas with extreme weather events will help to Selected diversification options can be further evaluated on-farm collect more data to understand further how diversification at to test how well they fit farmers’ realities, goals, and aspirations. Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems | www.frontiersin.org 10 April 2020 | Volume 4 | Article 32 van Zonneveld et al. Diversify Farms for Climate Change Adaptation FIGURE 2 | Decision model to select crops and management practices for on-farm diversification. The existing enabling factors as defined in step 2 determine the availability of crop choices. Crops can be chosen using multiple criteria in function of the farmers’ goals defined in step 1; disabling factors defined in step 3; climate stresses defined in step 4; and a gap analysis of functional diversity in step 5. The selection of these options can be done in focus-group of vegetable species to different climate stresses because these are discussions in farmer communities with farmers, practitioners, potentially interesting crops for diversification. and researchers, and by interviewing key persons from farmer communities, as well external actors, which could support STEP 7. EVALUATION AND LEARNING farmers in access to markets, germplasm, climate information, credit, or insurance (Schattman et al., 2015; Morris et al., Participatory evaluation is a cost-effective way to evaluate crops, 2016). varieties, and management practices despite high transaction Crop options are available for different agroecological zones. costs in communication and information exchange (Almekinders In all these zones, legumes and trees are common functional types et al., 2007; Thomas et al., 2007). For on-farm testing of new to diversify farm systems for climate change adaptation (Tables 2, crops, varieties, and management practices, home gardens are 4). Some studies suggest that a low optimum number of on-farm convenient because farmers traditionally use these places for diversification options for semi-arid agroecological zones (Waha experimentation (Williams, 2004; Galluzzi et al., 2010). After et al., 2018). Therefore, it would be important to maximize the evaluation, farmers can decide if they wish adopt these new functional diversity in semi-arid regions within a few crops (see options and how best to incorporate them in their farm systems. Table 2). For uptake and scaling of diversification measures within Many crops, which are hardy and can tolerate climate stresses, communities, it is often advantageous to work initially with the are neglected and underutilized (Table 2). The reality is that most most innovative female and male farmers, such as custodian or of these crops have limited market opportunities. A selection of lighthouse farmers. They are often the most eager to experiment the crops with most potential for both climate change adaptation with diversification options and can subsequently inspire others and markets, and targeted and long-term efforts to strengthen (Hellin and Dixon, 2008). Researchers and practitioners can both supply of and demand for these selected crops, can help to foster knowledge exchange between farmers by supporting support farmers to diversify their farms with these crops (Table 1, farmer networks. Women and other vulnerable groups in many Examples 3 and 8). countries, would need to be involved in these activities to prevent Among high-value crops, vegetable species are commercially increase in inequality as a consequence of differential access to interesting for smallholder farmers and easy to incorporate in information and learning opportunities (Tompkins and Adger, farm systems. However, we found little research on climate stress 2004). tolerance in vegetable species compared with species from other Agricultural innovation systems are another form to crop groups. Further research is needed to evaluate the response share knowledge and to encourage learning about on-farm Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems | www.frontiersin.org 11 April 2020 | Volume 4 | Article 32 van Zonneveld et al. Diversify Farms for Climate Change Adaptation diversification options among farmers, and other private, most compelling examples of scaling agroecological practices are public, and societal actors in value chains (Schut et al., 2014) agroecological farmer-to-farmer networks in Central America, (Table 1, Example 9). Feedback and information exchange on Mexico, and Cuba (Table 1, Example 1). These networks show crop and variety performance between germplasm suppliers, the importance of horizontal learning from farmer-to-farmer farmers, and other actors improves site-specific crop and variety and through the establishment of dialogues between farmers and recommendations and enhances farmers’ access to high-quality other actors (Holt-Giménez, 2006; Morris et al., 2016). Therefore, germplasm (van Etten et al., 2019). in addition to the four essential steps mentioned above, step 7 in our decision-framework on evaluation and learning is another important step in the diversification of farm systems. The framework identifies insurance policies and market access DISCUSSION as two additional enabling factors for on-farm diversification, In this paper, we propose seven steps to work with farmers in in recognition of farmers’ needs for enabling institutional making choices about the development, selection, evaluation, and environments to incentivize on-farm changes in crop and land implementation of on-farm diversification strategies for climate management. Network structures for agricultural innovation change adaptation. These steps are based on existing concepts for sustainable agriculture link farmer organizations to markets on climate change adaptation, which are often recommended and insurance providers (Schut et al., 2014). We are not separately. Complementary to existing tools, which recommend aware of successful policies to link insurance products to on- agroecological practices (Altieri et al., 2015), select species (de farm diversification, and we recommend policy-makers and Sousa et al., 2019), or economically optimize crop portfolios practitioners to pilot these combinations. (Werners et al., 2011), this decision-making framework brings The framework stresses the importance of understanding the together agroecological, agrobotanical, social, and economic goals of different farm household members and their diverse considerations and recommendations from different disciplines, livelihood options and preferences. This provides the basis on and links these to farmers’ goals and constraints. The framework, which to establish a dialogue on diversifying farm systems, and coupled with extensive field experience from Latin America, Sub- allows to consider gender in the selection of diversification Saharan Africa, and Asia, offers a practical and comprehensive strategies. We stress this, because this may not always happen, tool for researchers and practitioners to establish a dialogue resulting in a focus on profit-maximization in projects biased with farm households or with farmer groups to develop on-farm to narrow economic objectives or to poor linkage between diversification strategies. recommended agroecological practices and the objectives of the We argue that the four most essential elements for selection different members of farm households. of appropriate on-farm diversification options are: step 1 To ensure that recommended practices align with farmers’ on understanding farmers’ goals, which is the basis of any economic objectives, we recommend practitioners and adaptation plan; step 2 on identifying enabling factors to identify researchers to work with farmers in estimating the production opportunities to support farmers with financial and technical costs and economic benefits of their existing farm systems in support; step 5 on assessing gaps in functional diversity in comparison with more diversified systems. Farmers are likely to farm systems, which need to be filled to adapt farm systems determine the optimum extent of on-farm diversification by the to climate change; and step 6 on the selection of on-farm balance between the labor input and other management costs diversification options to fill these gaps. These four steps would be associated with diversifying their farm systems, and the benefits the minimum needed to work with farmers in the development from increased and more stable productivity leading to enhanced and selection of viable on-farm diversification options for climate income and food security as a result of on-farm diversification. change adaptation. Since labor constraints increase with climate change, it will be Practitioners, policy-makers, and farmer organizations who important to consider these increased labor costs in cost-benefit aim to incite farmers to diversify their farm systems in a analysis and the implementation of diversification strategies. specific territory, can use the framework as a check box and Recommended practices to diversify farm systems under climate follow the steps in this framework on the basis of their change should therefore minimize extra labor, more so because of existing knowledge and with support of local and international growing labor-scarcity due to rural-urban migration (Bacud et al., research organizations and networks. For example, the CGIAR 2019). This fits well to the existing lesson in scaling agroecology Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food to promote effective and straightforward agroecological practices Security (CCAFS) provides a toolbox to select climate-smart (Holt-Giménez, 2001). When these practices minimize extra options (https://csa.guide/). Agroecological networks, such as the labor, then this will help to the successful implementation of Community Agroecological Network (CAN), have established diversification measures. guidelines to carry out participatory action research (Méndez On-farm diversification strategies contribute effectively to et al., 2017). CSA and SDG policies, which many governments aim to The framework counts in the lessons learned from successful promote to enhance food security, climate change adaptation, cases on scaling agroecological practices (Mier et al., 2018). and sustainable development (Lipper et al., 2014; Totin et al., These cases stress the importance to foster farmer organization 2018; Willett et al., 2019). On-farm diversification contributes and external support as two key enabling factors, and to select less to climate change mitigation, which is another important effective and straightforward agroecological practices. One of the component of CSA and SDG 13 on Climate Action. Although Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems | www.frontiersin.org 12 April 2020 | Volume 4 | Article 32 van Zonneveld et al. Diversify Farms for Climate Change Adaptation several on-farm diversification strategies, such as agroforestry or diversification options by connecting with local, national, growing cover crops already address mitigation by sequestering and international private companies, farmer organizations, carbon, this is not their primary goal when adapting farm public and private extension services, NGOs, as well as systems to the adverse effects of global climate change. On- research institutes. farm diversification in integrated CSA strategies should therefore The key is to work with farmers in a participatory way and be evaluated for their mitigation potential and when necessary to prioritize their constraints, aspirations, and opportunities for combined with other mitigation strategies. on-farm diversification. A failure to do so, risks stymieing CSA In some cases, on-farm diversification will not be sufficient efforts and ultimately perpetuating the vulnerability of those to reduce the vulnerability of farmers to climate change (Harvey farmers who are often the target group of CSA. This would also et al., 2014); on-farm diversification options simply do not save result in CSA falling well short of its potential to contribute sufficient labor or sufficiently increase or stabilize net income. meaningfully to several of the SDGs including 13: Climate Action; In these cases, off-farm diversification, such as seasonal labor in SDG 1: No Poverty; SDG 2: Zero Hunger; and SDG 15 Life the non-agricultural sectors or a permanent exit from agriculture, on Land. may be a better option for farmers to adapt to climate change (Hansen et al., 2019). AUTHOR CONTRIBUTIONS All authors listed have made a substantial, direct and intellectual CONCLUSIONS contribution to the work, and approved it for publication. On-farm diversification is a key component of a range of climate change adaptation and mitigations practices and technologies FUNDING known collectively as CSA. Poorer farmers are particularly This study was supported by Hivos, the Central American vulnerable to climate change and it is, hence, even more research platform on Production and Conservation in imperative that diversification options address the resources Partnership (PCP) and the CGIAR Research Programs available to them and their aspirations. Increasing resources Humidtropics, and Climate Change, Agriculture and Food are being directed at CSA and we suggest following the seven Security (CCAFS), with support from CGIAR Fund and steps presented in this paper as an approach to working with Donors. Funding for the World Vegetable Center’s general farmers for appropriate on-farm diversification as part of climate research activities was provided by core donors: Republic change adaptation and mitigation efforts. The seven steps provide of China (Taiwan), UK aid from the UK government, a framework to identify appropriate diversification options United States Agency for International Development (USAID), in the context of farmers’ agroecological and socio-economic Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research conditions: (step 1) defining farmers’ goals; (step 2) assessment (ACIAR), the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation of enabling factors; (step 3) assessment of disabling factors; (step and Development of Germany, Thailand, Philippines, Korea, 4) assessment of current and future climate-related production and Japan. risks; (step 5) gap analysis of functional diversity; (step 6) selection of on-farm diversification options; and finally (step 7) evaluation and learning. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Governments often have few economic resources to put in We thank Abigail Fallot from CIRAD, the editor, and the force an agenda for CSA and, hence, network structures for two reviewers for valuable comments in the development of agricultural innovation are vital for sustainable agriculture under this paper. climate change. Scale effects often favor monocultures. There are, however, several examples how food and feed demand in combination with adequate germplasm supply enables large SUPPLEMENTARY MATERIAL numbers of farmers to diverse their farm systems and access markets. A successful example is diversified horticultural systems The Supplementary Material for this article can be found with high-value fruit and vegetable species for urban markets. online at: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fsufs. Networks of agricultural innovation enable farmers to adopt 2020.00032/full#supplementary-material REFERENCES Altieri, M. A., and Merrick, L. C. (1987). 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Cold stress tolerance mechanisms in plants. A review. Agron. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these Sustain. Dev. 30, 515–527. doi: 10.1051/agro/2009050 terms. Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems | www.frontiersin.org 19 April 2020 | Volume 4 | Article 32 van Zonneveld et al. Diversify Farms for Climate Change Adaptation GLOSSARY Modern Portfolio Theory: Optimization technique to determine optimal number and type of crops or land-use systems Agricultural innovation system or network: A network of to manage production risks for specific expected returns on actors including researchers, input suppliers, extension agents, investment under climate change. In MPT, risks are defined as farmers, traders, processors, and other actors who are engaged the variance in returns to expected production or gross margin in the creation and use of knowledge relevant to agricultural across years. production and marketing (Spielman et al., 2008). Polyculture: Multiple cropping systems, such as Agroecosystem: A site or integrated region of agricultural intercropping systems and multistrata systems. production understood as an ecosystem with organisms, such Resilience: The amount of change a system can undergo and as crop plant individuals, populations of crops, communities of still remain within the same domain of attraction (Gallopín, polycultures, and ecosystems as farms or watersheds (Gliessman, 2006). This is related to the extent that farmers can adapt their 2014). farming systems to climate change (Eakin et al., 2012). On-farm diversification refers to the incorporation of Smallholders: Farmers who own small-based plots of land species, plant varieties or breeds, and management practices on which they grow subsistence crops and one or two cash and land-use systems in farm systems in space and time crops and generally rely principally on family labor. Smallholders through a range of spatial practices, such as polycultures, generally have <2 ha of land in production but farm-size is agroforestry systems, field scattering, and hedgerows; and context-specific. In the western highlands of Guatemala many temporal diversification through crop rotations (Somarriba, farm households have access to land well below 2 ha (Hellin 1992; Vandermeer, 1992; Goland, 1993; Brookfield, 2001; et al., 2017) while in parts of Brazil a smallholder farmer may Liebman and Dyck, 2007; Kremen et al., 2012). own up to 50 ha. Smallholders often have limited marketing, Crop functional type: Practical ecological approach to storage, and processing capacity. The average annual income group crops with similar traits and responses to changes in for commercial smallholder production in generally below 5,000 environmental factors (Lavorel and Garnier, 2002; Bondeau et al., USD/year (Lowder et al., 2016). 2007; Gilbert and Holbrook, 2011). Neglected and underutilized crops: Neglected crops may Farm system: A decision-making unit comprising the farm be globally distributed, but tend to occupy special niches household, cropping, agroforestry, and/or livestock systems, in the local ecology and in production and consumption which transforms land, capital, and labor into useful products, systems. While these crops continue to be maintained by socio- which can be consumed or sold (adjusted from Fresco and cultural preferences and use practices, they remain inadequately Westphal, 1988). characterized and neglected by research and conservation. Many Germplasm: Living tissue from which new plants can be underutilized crops were once more widely grown but have fallen grown, such as seeds, meristem, or pollen. into disuse for a variety of agronomic, genetic, economic and Index insurance: Payouts are based on an index (such as the cultural factors. Farmers and consumers are using these crops less total seasonal rainfall or average crop yield for a larger area) and because these crops are in some way not competitive with other this reduces the costs of insuring farmers (Bell et al., 2013). crops in the same agricultural environment (Padulosi et al., 2002). Local knowledge: A collection of certainties and experiences, These crops include food and forage tree species and any other which relate to a system of concepts, beliefs, and perceptions, agricultural plant species; they are also known as minor, orphan, which people hold about their environment. This includes the underexploited, underdeveloped, lost, new, novel, promising, way people observe and measure their surroundings, how they alternative, local, traditional, or niche crops. solve problems and validate new information. It includes the Whole farm insurance: A single insurance, which covers processes whereby knowledge is generated, stored, applied, and the covariate risk of jointly produced farm crop and livestock transmitted to others (Warburton and Martin, 1999). enterprises (Turvey, 2012). Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems | www.frontiersin.org 20 April 2020 | Volume 4 | Article 32 http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems Unpaywall

Decision-Making to Diversify Farm Systems for Climate Change Adaptation

Frontiers in Sustainable Food SystemsApr 7, 2020

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HYPOTHESIS AND THEORY published: 07 April 2020 doi: 10.3389/fsufs.2020.00032 Decision-Making to Diversify Farm Systems for Climate Change Adaptation 1,2 2,3 4 Maarten van Zonneveld *, Marie-Soleil Turmel and Jon Hellin 1 2 3 World Vegetable Center, Shanhua, Taiwan, Bioversity International, Costa Rica Office, Turrialba, Costa Rica, Catholic Relief Services, Baltimore, MD, United States, Sustainable Impact Platform, International Rice Research Institute, Los Baños, Philippines On-farm diversification is a promising strategy for farmers to adapt to climate change. However, few recommendations exist on how to diversify farm systems in ways that best fit the agroecological and socioeconomic challenges farmers face. Farmers’ ability to adopt diversification strategies is often stymied by their aversion to risk, loss of local knowledge, and limited access to agronomic and market information, this is especially the case for smallholders. We outline seven steps on how practitioners and researchers in agricultural development can work with farmers in decision-making about on-farm diversification of cropping, pasture, and agroforestry systems while taking into account these constraints. These seven steps are relevant for all types of farmers but particularly for smallholders in tropical and subtropical regions. It is these farmers who are usually Edited by: most vulnerable to climate change and who are, subsequently, often the target of Timothy Bowles, University of California, Berkeley, climate-smart agriculture (CSA) interventions. Networks of agricultural innovation provide United States an enabling environment for on-farm diversification. These networks connect farmers Reviewed by: and farmer organizations with local, national, or international private companies, public Paul Wilson, University of Nottingham, organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and research institutes. These United Kingdom actors can work with farmers to develop diversified production systems incorporating David Rose, both high-value crops and traditional food production systems. These diversified farm University of Reading, United Kingdom systems with both food and cash crops act as a safety net in the event of price *Correspondence: Maarten van Zonneveld fluctuations or other disruptions to crop value chains. In this way, farmers can adapt maarten.vanzonneveld@worldveg.org their farm systems to climate change in ways that provide greater food security and improved income. Specialty section: This article was submitted to Keywords: on-farm diversification, agroecosystem diversification, climate-smart agriculture, climate variability, Agroecology and Ecosystem Services, crop diversification, diversified farming systems, participatory research, risk management a section of the journal Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems Received: 12 September 2019 INTRODUCTION Accepted: 02 March 2020 Published: 07 April 2020 On-farm diversification is a promising strategy for farmers to adapt to climate change while also Citation: contributing to diverse food production, healthier diets, and a better use of agricultural biodiversity van Zonneveld M, Turmel M-S and (Vermeulen et al., 2012; Waha et al., 2018; Willett et al., 2019). However, few recommendations exist Hellin J (2020) Decision-Making to for farmers, practitioners, and researchers on how to diversify farm systems in ways which best fit Diversify Farm Systems for Climate the agroecological and socioeconomic challenges that farmers face. Change Adaptation. In this paper, we outline seven steps on how to work with farmers in decision-making about Front. Sustain. Food Syst. 4:32. doi: 10.3389/fsufs.2020.00032 on-farm diversification of cropping, pasture, and agroforestry systems (Figure 1). Existing tools Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems | www.frontiersin.org 1 April 2020 | Volume 4 | Article 32 van Zonneveld et al. Diversify Farms for Climate Change Adaptation FIGURE 1 | Decision-making framework to develop, select, evaluate, and implement on-farm diversification strategies for climate change adaptation. We propose seven steps for practitioners and researchers to work with farmers in decision-making. Steps 1–5 help farmers and other actors to collect information to select on-farm diversification options in step 6. After the selection of on-farm diversification options, farmers can evaluate them in step 7 and implement or adjust them or replace them by other on-farm diversification options. This is reflected in a feedback loop between step 6 and 7. The arrows indicate which steps influence other steps in the decision-making framework. The seven steps are useful for all types of farmer but are to select agroecological practices and plant species for on-farm particularly relevant to smallholder farmers. Smallholders are diversification (Altieri et al., 2015; de Sousa et al., 2019) or to often more vulnerable to climate change compared with large- economically optimize crop portfolios (Werners et al., 2011; scale farmers and usually face higher risks when adopting Knoke et al., 2015) cover different considerations in decision- making on on-farm diversification strategies. These tools are new technologies because of lower resource endowments. Smallholder farmers are the main target of interventions, which not always linked to farmers’ goals and constraints, which are embedded in a range of social, economic, ecological, cultural, are collectively known as climate-smart agriculture (CSA). CSA contributes to an increase in global food security and broader and political relationships, and which determine the decisions farmers make about farm management and livelihood options development, secondly enhances farmers’ ability to adapt to climate change, and finally mitigates greenhouse gas emissions (Gardner and Lewis, 1996; Shiferaw et al., 2009). This paper (Lipper et al., 2014). On-farm diversification is a component offers a practical and comprehensive framework, which takes into of CSA, and not only contributes to the realization of the account these different issues in decision-making about on-farm Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 13: Climate Action but diversification, and which brings together agroecological, also of other SDGs, including SDG 1: No Poverty; SDG 2: Zero agrobotanical, social, and economic considerations Hunger; SDG 12 Responsible Consumption and Production; and and recommendations. This decision-making framework is intended for practitioners SDG 15 Life on Land. and researchers in agricultural development. The framework can be used to establish a dialogue with individual farmers or farmer APPROACH groups to develop on-farm diversification strategies with the use of participatory research approaches, which have proved to The seven steps resulted from the authors’ discussions on be successful approaches in the selection and adoption of new existing concepts and tools from literature on climate change agricultural technologies (Carberry et al., 2002; Grothmann and adaptation and on-farm diversification. These concepts have Patt, 2005; Urwin and Jordan, 2008). been presented separately in literature. By connecting these In this framework, we first discuss enabling and disabling concepts, we establish a practical framework for decision-making factors, which warrant consideration when developing to diversify farm systems for climate change adaptation. We focus on-farm diversification strategies. Second, we propose on tropical and subtropical regions where most smallholders live straightforward tools and techniques, which can help and work, and on cropping, pasture, and agroforestry systems as farmers to select on-farm diversification options. Finally, principal components of farm systems in these regions. Many we explain how researchers, practitioners, and farmers examples of crops and traditional production systems in this can apply participatory approaches to evaluate on-farm paper come from Central America and Mexico where each of diversification options. the authors has over 12 years’ work experience complemented Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems | www.frontiersin.org 2 April 2020 | Volume 4 | Article 32 van Zonneveld et al. Diversify Farms for Climate Change Adaptation by extensive experience from Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, farmers often define multiple goals, for example, they consider and South-East Asia. The seven-step decision-making process is cereals for food security; pulses and vegetables for nutrition; cash applicable to other tropical and subtropical regions. crops for increasing income; off-seasons crops and forages for animal production to stabilize income; and finally intercropping Step 1. Defining farmers’ goals: Any initiative to work and field scattering to reduce production risks (Schroth and with farmers starts with understanding the goals of the Ruf, 2014). Different household members, such as women and different farm household members, and identifying how on- men, may have different goals (van de Fliert and Braun, 2002; farm diversification can contribute to these goals (Allen et al., Chaudhury et al., 2013). Participatory approaches have proved 2011). effective in enabling practitioners and researchers to understand Step 2. Assessment of enabling factors: Enabling the goals of different members of farm households (Mazón et al., factors determine the feasibility and potential of on-farm 2016; Dumont et al., 2017). Understanding farmers’ goals is diversification options. Farmers are more willing to select, thus the basis of working with farmers in developing, selecting, evaluate, and implement new diversification strategies in the evaluating, and implementing on-farm diversification strategies. context of an enabling environment consisting of support from farmer organizations and private and public extension STEP 2. ENABLING FACTORS services, and access to credit, insurance, and markets. Step 3. Assessment of disabling factors: Successful adoption Extension of on-farm diversification strategies depends on the extent to A particular challenge is that our proposal to work in a which farmers have the possibility and are willing to invest in participatory way with farmers comes at a time when public labor, financial capital, and learning new skills. extension services have been severely eroded in much of the Step 4. Assessment of current and future climate-related developing world (Umali-Deininger, 1997; Hellin, 2012). Private production risks: On-farm diversification strategies can be extension has increased but there has been a tendency to focus tailored to local conditions when farmers, practitioners, efforts on better-off farmers leaving those in marginal areas and researchers identify the principal climate stresses for with limited services (Hellin, 2012). There are, however, growing current and future agricultural production in their locations examples of innovative extension approaches which include both (Vermeulen et al., 2013). the public and private sector (Chapman and Tripp, 2003). The Step 5. Gap analysis of functional diversity in farm systems: transformation from specialized to diversified farm systems can Farmers and other actors can identify the need for diversifying be fostered by agricultural innovation systems (Schut et al., 2014). their farm systems with new crop functional types, such as In the absence of extension and agricultural innovation systems, cereals with C4 photosynthesis (Lavorel and Garnier, 2002) farmers would need to rely largely on neighboring farmers, or the need for new management practices, such as the farmer organizations, and local knowledge to adapt their farm establishment of shade trees to make farm systems more systems to climate change. resilient against climate changes (Altieri et al., 2015). Step 6. Selection of on-farm diversification options: Farmers Farmer Organization choose crops on the basis of multiple criteria considering The organization of farmers in associations, farmer-to-farmer their goals, enabling and disabling factors, climate-related movements, or other types of social organization can be production risks, and gaps in functional diversity (Coe et al., an effective way to scale practices to diversify farm systems 2014). because these organizations are conduits for the dissemination Step 7. Evaluation and learning: These activities are part of knowledge and information (Shiferaw et al., 2009; Mier et al., of adaptive management. Farmers continuously evaluate and 2018), and allow to establish safety nets for farmers through improve on-farm diversification strategies in dialogue with formal and informal insurance programs (Tucker et al., 2010; other farmers, practitioners, and researchers (Allen et al., Bacon et al., 2014) (Table 1, Examples 1 and 2). Capacity 2011). development on good governance and finance makes farmer organizations more competent, efficient, and transparent, and diminishes dependence on external authorities or donors. With STEP 1. FARMERS’ GOALS these skills, farmer organizations can reduce the risks on “elite capture,” secondly they can access credit from banks and social Any initiative to work with farmers starts with understanding investors to invest in on-farm diversification, and finally they can farmers’ goals and identifying how diversification of their farm connect to networks of agricultural innovation to access markets systems contributes to these goals. Often profit-maximizing and external support (Table 1, Example 2). Farmer organizations approaches, such as Modern Portfolio Theory (MPT) are are thus in principle good partners in selecting, developing, used to determine the optimal number and type of crops or evaluating, and implementing on-farm diversification strategies. land-use systems to manage production risks for a certain expected return on investment under climate change (Figge, Local Knowledge and Neglected and 2004; Werners and Incerti, 2007; Werners et al., 2011). Farmers, especially smallholders, often perceive benefits from on-farm Underutilized Crops diversification in ways which profit-maximizing approaches do At least 7,000 food plant species have been documented and these not necessarily capture. When diversifying their farm systems, provide a rich basket of crop choices (Padulosi et al., 1999). Many Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems | www.frontiersin.org 3 April 2020 | Volume 4 | Article 32 van Zonneveld et al. Diversify Farms for Climate Change Adaptation TABLE 1 | Examples of successful societal, public and private initiatives to support farmers in diversifying their farm systems. Example 1: Over several decades, agroecological farmer-to-farmer networks in Central America, Mexico, and Cuba have reached ten-thousands of farmers (Mier et al., 2018). These networks introduced straightforward agroecological practices enhanced by local experimentation, farmer-to-farmer learning, and training and promotion of farmer extension workers (Holt-Giménez, 2002; Mier et al., 2018). These agroecological practices include the introduction of cover crops and green manures, such as velvet bean (Mucuna pruriens) and jack bean (Canavalia ensiformis), which reduce the sensitivity of farm soils and productivity to hurricane and flooding exposure (Holt-Giménez, 2001, 2002). Example 2: Smallholder coffee farmers who are members of associations in Guatemala and Nicaragua have been able to access training on and inputs for agroecological practices, access formal and informal safety nets, and export coffee (Coffea arabica) at a premium price (Bacon et al., 2014; Morris et al., 2016; Winget et al., 2017). Among agroecological practices, shade tree species, such as cocoashade (Gliricia sepium) and salmwood (Cordia alliodora), are commonly used to stabilize above ground temperatures in Mesoamerican coffee systems (Lin, 2007). Example 3: Associations of gastronomy and avant-garde chefs in Peru have promoted a cuisine with neglected and underutilized crops to a wider public, including native Capsicum peppers, native potatoes, and local fruit species (Hellin and Higman, 2005; Matta, 2013). Example 4: The vegetable seed company East-West Seed successfully scaled and diversified the production of vegetables in Southeast Asia and other regions. East- West Seed produces seeds of 60 crops and 1,000 varieties to support diverse vegetable farm systems. As part of their seed sales, East-West Seed sold 25 million one-dollar seed packs, which are accessible to smallholders (East-West Seed, 2016). In 2019, East-West Seed received the World Food Prize in recognition of their impact in creating sustainable economic opportunities for small farmers around the world over the last four decades. Example 5: In Kenya and Tanzania, national and international agricultural research organizations, local and international seed companies, governmental and farmer organizations collaborate in a network to promote variety and seed system development of traditional African vegetables, such as African eggplant (Solanum aethiopicum), leafy nightshade (Solanum scabrum), and spider plant (Cleome gynandra) (Dinssa et al., 2016; Stoilova et al., 2019). One of the most-promising traditional vegetables in East Africa is leafy amaranth (Amaranthus spp.), a hardy and nutritious C4 crop. In 2017, about 231,000 farmers in Kenya and Tanzania increased their yield by growing improved amaranth varieties. These varieties are developed, distributed, and commercialized through this network in response to increased urban demand for leafy amaranth in East Africa (Ochieng et al., 2019). Example 6: An example of where index insurance can enhance on-farm diversification is in Ethiopia. The World Food Program (WFP), Oxfam, and partners have initiated the R4 Rural Resilience Initiative. The initiative includes insurance as part of a larger climate-change adjustment program, which includes tree-planting and soil and water conservation. The program uses the work-for-assets model, enabling farmers to accumulate individual and/or group savings, which provide a “risk reserve.” The initiative added an insurance component. In return for their work, farmers get access to an insurance scheme (Greatrex et al., 2015). Example 7: Participatory prioritization and capacity building enhanced farmer uptake of native tree species in Costa Rica, Colombia, and Mexico where cattle ranchers successfully have implemented climate-resilient silvopastoral systems with native tree species (Murgueitio et al., 2011; Bozzano et al., 2014). Example 8: In Brazil, governmental organizations, NGOs, and agricultural research institutes have collaborated to advocate for policies to promote the consumption of native foods. This has led to the publication of a national ordinance which officially recognizes the nutritional value of more than 60 native food plants (Beltrame et al., 2016). This has led to the inclusion of these species in subnational and local programs of school feeding food procurement. Farmers who participate in these programs can diversify their farms with nutritious food plants because the mediated food-procurement market provides an incentive to do so (Wittman and Blesh, 2017). Example 9: An example of these agricultural innovation systems are consortia of research institutes and seed companies, which provide farmers with affordable seeds of improved vegetable lines and as a conduit for feedback between seed suppliers and farmers (Schreinemachers et al., 2017b; Ochieng et al., 2019). are neglected and underutilized (National Research Council, The promotion of these neglected and underutilized crops 1989; Clement, 1999). These species could become important is complex and requires actions at both the supply side to for food security under changing climate conditions because incite farmers to continue using these crops and demand side they have evolved during a long history of human selection to persuade consumers to incorporate these crops in their diets. and fluctuating climate conditions (Mercer and Perales, 2010; Here we name three approaches to provide incentives to farmers’ Padulosi et al., 2011). Some examples of promising species for use of neglected and underutilized crops to diversify farm diversification and climate change adaptation are provided in systems. First, within each community, commonly a few farmers Table 2. are knowledge hubs on the management of these neglected and Farmers in traditional communities have commonly underutilized crops (Altieri and Merrick, 1987; Sthapit et al., diversified their farm systems with these crops to manage 2013). These persons are custodian or lighthouse farmers who production risks related to unpredictable weather cycles merit recognition in society and who can be encouraged to share (Winterhalder et al., 1999; Matsuda, 2013; Altieri et al., their knowledge with other farmers as well as with practitioners 2015). Much of the local knowledge associated with growing and researchers. Second, empowerment of women in agriculture neglected and underutilized crops is at risk of extirpation increases the options for on-farm diversification because both due to changing diets, reduced interest by young people in men and women maintain exclusive and complementary agriculture, and shifts in production systems under climate knowledge about crops and farm management (Padulosi et al., change (Padulosi et al., 2011; Khoury et al., 2014). With 2011). Because female-headed farm systems are not necessary this loss, farmers have fewer diversification options. This more diverse than male-headed ones (Saenz and Thompson, makes them more vulnerable to climate change. Finally, the 2017), it is important to understand the complementary impacts decline of production and consumption of these neglected of women and men’s choices on the diversification of farm and underutilized crops leads to the disappearance of local systems (Farnworth et al., 2016). Finally, the identification and varieties whose traits for adaptation to climate stresses are development of niche markets and new uses of neglected and not only important to local farmers but also for research and underutilized crops can stimulate their production and the breeding by the global agricultural research community (Table 3, maintenance of local knowledge (Table 1, Example 3). There are, Example 1). hence, several strategies to maintain and use local knowledge Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems | www.frontiersin.org 4 April 2020 | Volume 4 | Article 32 van Zonneveld et al. Diversify Farms for Climate Change Adaptation TABLE 2 | Crop functional types and crop examples to diversify in response to various climate stresses. Climate Crop functional type Trait examples Crop examples References stress Drought and Dryland hardwood Deep root architecture, Mesquite (Prosopis spp.), glassywood Borchert, 1994; Holmgren et al., water scarcity trees phenological drought escape, (Astronium graveolens) 2006; Nabhan, 2013 deciduous Tropical dryland Water storage, deep root Hog plum (Spondias spp.), pochote Borchert, 1994 lightwood trees architecture, phenological (Pachira fendleri), baobab (Adansonia drought escape, deciduous digitata) C4 perennial forage C4 photosynthesis, deep root Guinea grass (Panicum maximum) Cattivelli et al., 2008; Lopes et al., grasses architecture 2011 Crassulacean Acid CAM metabolism, deep root Nopal (Opuntia ficus-indica), maguey and Yang et al., 2015 Metabolism (CAM) architecture, phenological other agaves (Agave spp.), pitayas crops drought escape, water storage (Echinocereus spp., Stenocereus spp. Hylocereus undatus) C4 cereals C4 metabolism, deep root Maize (Zea mays), sorghum (Sorghum Lopes et al., 2011; Cheng et al., 2017 architecture, phenological bicolor), teff (Eragrostis tef) drought escape Legumes Phenological drought escape, Chick pea (Cicer arietinum), cowpea Subbarao et al., 1995; Ehlers and water use efficiency, deep root (Vigna unguiculata), mungbean (V. radiata), Hall, 1997; Graham and Vance, 2003; structure moth bean (V. aconitifolia) Iseki et al., 2018; Yundaeng et al., Tropical root crops Stomatal control, shift in leaf Cassava (Manihot esculenta) Bondeau et al., 2007; El-Sharkawy, size, recovery of photosynthesis 2007 Flooding and Tropical floodplain trees Dormancy and periodic growth, Camu-camu (Mycriara dubia), acupari Peters and Vásquez, 1987; Parolin, waterlogging and shrubs xeromorphic leave traits, starch (Garcinia brasiliensis) 2009 storage in roots Aquatic grasses (forage Root aeration, elongation growth Rice (Oryza spp.) brachiaria grasses (B. Sairam et al., 2008; Bailey-Serres and grains) response humidicola), teff, sorghum et al., 2012; Cardoso et al., 2013 Swamp palms Dormancy and periodic growth, Aguaje palm (Mauritia flexuosa), Kahn, 1991; Schluter et al., 1993 root aerenchyma chambirilla (Astrocaryum jauari) Heat Tropical leguminous Changes in concentrations of Mesquite, cocoashade (Gliricia sepium) Felker et al., 1983; Ortiz and trees regulatory proteins Cardemil, 2001; Nabhan, 2013 CAM crops Not found Pineapple (Ananas comosus) Yamada et al., 1996; Yang et al., 2015 C4 cereals Not found Maize Wahid et al., 2007 Tropical Legumes Heat escape, stabilizing Cowpea, moth bean, yard-long bean Ehlers and Hall, 1997; Wahid et al., mechanisms of cell membrane (Vinga unguiculata group sesquipedalis) 2007; Yundaeng et al., 2019 integrity, improved pod set under hot conditions Palms Not found Cocos (Cocos nucifera), date (Phoenix Yamada et al., 1996; Nabhan, 2013 dactylifera) Frost Temperate cereals Hardening Oats (Avena sativa) Rizza et al., 2001; Yadav, 2010 Temperate legumes Hardening Faba bean (Vicia faba) Arbaoui and Link, 2008 This list is not exhaustive and just provide some crop examples per crop functional type. on neglected and underutilized crops to promote diversified Stoilova et al., 2019) and when these suppliers strengthen their farm systems. germplasm production capacity (Schreinemachers et al., 2017a). The desired type of seed system differs between crop groups Getting the Right Variety and should be defined per crop and region (Louwaars and de Farmers often struggle to find planting material of crops Boef, 2012). For example, public-private networks of research with high potential for on-farm diversification even though institutes and local, national, and international seed companies have proven to be successful to scale the supply of affordable appropriate varieties are often available at agricultural institutions or maintained by neighboring farmers (Jarvis and high-quality vegetable seeds (Schreinemachers et al., 2017a) et al., 2011). Due to weak formal and informal seed systems, (Table 1, Examples 4 and 5). Aside from fostering farmers’ access farmers are not always able to access germplasm of appropriate to commercial and public germplasm in formal seed systems, varieties and diversify their farm systems. Farmers can access farmer communities across the world successfully establish more varied germplasm when they are better connected to networks to conserve, use, and exchange germplasm of local public and private germplasm suppliers (Coomes et al., 2015; varieties and associated knowledge (Coomes et al., 2015; Vernooy Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems | www.frontiersin.org 5 April 2020 | Volume 4 | Article 32 van Zonneveld et al. Diversify Farms for Climate Change Adaptation TABLE 3 | Examples of on-farm diversification constraints related to market dynamics. Example 1: In the central highlands of Mexico, farmers traditionally intercrop maize (Zea mays) and common beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) with maguey (Agave atrovirens), a neglected crop, which is adapted to dry conditions because of its Crassulacean Acid Metabolism (CAM) photosynthetic apparatus. Production of aguamiel from maguey, a natural sweetener and raw material for production of a traditionally fermented beverage, can provide an additional source of income (Eakin, 2005). In recent years, the demand for aguamiel has decreased as consumer preferences have changed. Without a market, farmers have largely stopped growing maguey and increasingly they grow only maize and common beans. This puts them in a vulnerable position as both crops are more susceptible to drought, frost and hail damage compared with maguey. Example 2: In 2012 and 2013, many Mesoamerican coffee smallholder families suffered from hunger because coffee rust wiped out their coffee crop (Coffea arabica). Coffee rust thrived because of the interplay of poor management as a result of low coffee prices and unfavorable temperatures (Avelino et al., 2015). Many coffee farmers received technical and monetary support because of their affiliation to cooperatives and fair-trade schemes. While these safety nets helped many farmers to compensate for income loss and to manage coffee rust, these safety nets were not sufficient to protect all farmers and farm laborers (Morris et al., 2016). In addition, to further sustain food security, farmer organizations in Nicaragua have established grain banks for Central American smallholder coffee producers who suffer seasonal hunger (Bacon et al., 2014). Food insecurity was highest in households of coffee laborers without alternative income sources and coffee smallholder families who had abandoned or reduced the areas dedicated to traditional food crops (Avelino et al., 2015). Farmers’ safety nets can be strengthened when these are combined with technical and financial support to diversify farm systems with food crops for subsistence and income generation from local markets. Farm laborers are the most vulnerable because they lack land for food production and would need to diversify their income sources with other off-farm activities. Example 3: Nutrition of some households In the western highlands of Guatemala has declined when farmers started to grow exclusively high-value vegetable crops for export markets (Webb et al., 2016). Some of these vegetable farmers stopped growing or consuming nutrient-rich crops from traditional diversified farm systems characterized by Milpa system of maize, common beans, and associated crops. High-value crops may require large investments in fertilizer and other inputs; financial pressures may encourage producers to invest in commercial production, abandon traditional agriculture, and consume low-quality processed food (Webb et al., 2016). More research is required to understand when and how the replacement of food by cash crops affects the nutrition status of farm household members. et al., 2017). The promotion of promising crops to diversify Whole-farm insurances could be another promising farm systems requires an assessment of the existing formal and insurance measure to provide farmers an incentive to informal seed systems to strengthen, where necessary, germplasm diversify farm systems (Hart et al., 2006; Turvey, 2012). quality and supply in collaboration with farmer organizations, What whole-farm and index insurances have in common is that NGOs, breeders, genebanks, and private and public suppliers of combining agricultural insurance with on-farm diversification planting material. benefits both farmers and insurance providers. Diversified farm systems can stabilize income and productivity and Insurance reduce the risks and corresponding premia of insurance. A Risk aversion on the part of farmers, especially smallholders, is recommendation is to develop policies and incentives for an obstacle to the adoption of new crops, varieties, and novel innovative insurance services, which support and promote management practices (Lee, 2005). Weather shocks, such as on-farm diversification. drought, can trap farm households in poverty because the risk of the shocks limits farmers’ willingness and capacity to invest Markets in on-farm diversification strategies (Dick et al., 2011; Carter High-value crops, such as fruit and vegetable species, have been et al., 2016). For example, fire risk in drought-prone areas limits identified as promising crops to diversify farm systems and to farmers to diversify farm systems with tree species (Jacobi et al., increase farmers’ net income (Joshi et al., 2004; Pingali, 2007; 2017). As a complement to on-farm diversification, agricultural Birthal et al., 2015). Vegetable species are of special interest insurance against yield loss mitigates the risks farmers face and because in general they have short rotation cycles and can encourages them to diversify their farm systems (Bobojonov provide quick and year-round returns (Schreinemachers et al., et al., 2013). 2018). Market access may, however, be limited to large-scale One approach gaining much attention is index insurance. farmers as smallholders often lack capital to make investments With index insurance, payouts are based on an index, such as to convert a semi- or fully-subsistence farm system into a the total seasonal rainfall or average crop yield for a larger area. commercial farm system (Pingali, 2007; Eakin et al., 2012). Many This index reduces the costs of insuring individual farmers (Bell high-value crops, such as leafy vegetables, are perishable and et al., 2013). Furthermore, the insurance is based on a reliable and this often requires additional investments in post-harvesting independently verifiable index and can be reinsured, allowing and transportation. Finally, smallholders can be particularly insurance companies to transfer part of their risk to international vulnerable to fluctuating market prices (Eakin, 2003; Carletto markets (Binswanger-Mkhize, 2012). Index insurance can be et al., 2010). Linking farmers, especially smallholders, to bundled with climate-adapted germplasm or cropping systems markets therefore requires support by governments, food to encourage farmers to invest in crop productivity (Bobojonov processors, and distributors to strengthen post-harvesting et al., 2013) (Table 1, Example 6). facilities, distribution channels, stable production supply, Index insurance, however, is not a perfect predictor of an and insurance. individual loss. The difference between the farmers’ actual losses Farmers tend to focus on one or a few crops to meet quality and the expected payout is known as basis risk; it may result in demands. However, a sole focus on one or two high-value cash a farmer suffering a yield loss, but not receiving a payout, or in crops in a farm system can be a risk for food security and a payout without the farmer experiencing any loss (Dick et al., livelihoods for individual farm households as well as for local 2011; Miranda and Farrin, 2012). economies (Immink and Alarcon, 1991; Chakrabarti and Kundu, Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems | www.frontiersin.org 6 April 2020 | Volume 4 | Article 32 van Zonneveld et al. Diversify Farms for Climate Change Adaptation 2009) (Table 3, Examples 2 and 3). Rather than focusing solely Farm Size and Land Ownership on one or two cash crops, farmers may therefore opt to manage Although farm size is thought to be a constraint for several crops and varieties with different production and price diversification, we did not find a clear correlation between risks, to meet food and nutrition security goals, and increase net farm size and on-farm diversification. As part of a systematic income (Table 4, Example 1). literature review, which included 13 detailed studies, six reported that on-farm diversification increases with farm size; four studies reported no effect; and three studies reported that on-farm STEP 3. DISABLING FACTORS diversification reduces with farm size (Table S1). There is thus scant evidence that farm size is an enabling factor or Scale Effects Scale effects leading to crop and farm specialization may be constraint for on-farm diversification. Our recommendations to diversify farms are therefore relevant for different stronger drivers than those leading to on-farm diversification. Such specialization can occur in the case of commodities where farm sizes. there is a demand for large quantities and where sophisticated We found only a few studies, which consider land ownership and product-specific technical packages drive monocultures. as a factor in diversification (Lawin and Tamini, 2017; Asante Such can be the case for oil palm (Elaeis guineensis), sugarcane et al., 2018). These studies showed no relationship between (Saccharum officinarum), and soybean (Glycine max). Indeed, land ownership and diversified farms. More research is needed for several decades, research and development efforts in the to understand better if there is any relation between these agricultural sector of many countries support technologies, two variables. which reinforce scale effects and favor specialization (Griffon, 2006; Pingali, 2012). Agricultural subsidies in countries, such as STEP 4. CURRENT AND FUTURE Mexico, Bolivia, and Zambia support large-scale monocultures rather than diversified production systems (Eakin and Wehbe, CLIMATE-RELATED PRODUCTION RISKS 2009; Jacobi et al., 2017; Saenz and Thompson, 2017). With more research investment and policy support, scalable Farmer perceptions of weather cycles and climate change and economically-feasible diversification practices can be are a good starting point for identifying climate risks. Their developed. So far, scaling of species mixtures has been successful knowledge may need to be combined with formal predictions for pasture and cover crops because these mixtures increase to reduce bias from their recent experiences and to reflect long- productivity without extra management costs (Bybee-Finley term climate trends. Once climate risks are identified, crops, et al., 2018) (Table 4, Example 2). The wide-scale introduction varieties, and management practices can be selected to manage of high-quality seed of vegetable crops to smallholder farmers in these risks. Climate models with projections in climate change under Southeast Asia during the last decades is a successful example on how to scale diversification of farm systems with high-value different economic and climatic scenarios allow for predictions of climate change impact on crop production for the next decades crops (Schreinemachers et al., 2018) (Table 1, Example 4). (Lobell et al., 2008; Baca et al., 2014; de Sousa et al., 2019). Labor Constraints The main purpose of these models is to reduce uncertainty Any on-farm diversification option should save labor and/or in decision-making rather than to give precise predictions increase and/or stabilize net income to make it an attractive (Vermeulen et al., 2013). These models are relevant for planting option for climate change adaptation (Lee, 2005). Labor saving decisions for both annual and perennial commodities, such as is urgent because climate change is predicted to reduce farming soybean and coffee (Coffea spp.), for which a whole infrastructure labor capacity in tropical regions by up to 50–80% in peak needs to be maintained or put in place. Even in the case of months of heat stress (Dunne et al., 2013; Myers et al., 2017). the introduction of non-commodities, time may be required to Diversification with cover crops and shade trees can reduce develop seed systems and to develop the capacity of farmers who the labor costs of weed control (Raintree and Warner, 1986; are interested in growing these crops. Holt-Giménez, 2006; Liebman and Dyck, 2007) or fertilizer Climate models, which use historic climate trends, help to input in the case of cocoa agroforestry systems (Armengot predict trends in climate stress for shorter time spans compared et al., 2016). However, often diversified farm systems require with the decadal predictions of climate models on the basis of more labor compared with less complex systems (Bacon projections in climate change. To be effective, the results of these et al., 2012). This has been the case for diversified rice models have to be communicated clearly to farmers (Pulwarty systems and cocoa systems (Pingali, 1992; Armengot et al., and Sivakumar, 2014). The Famine Early Warning Systems 2016). The introduction of high-value crops, such as fruit Network (FEWS NET), for example, provides rainfall predictions and vegetable species could be an alternative diversification for the next 10–365 days on the basis of high-resolution rainfall strategy to increase or stabilize net income (Joshi et al., and hydrological models (Senay et al., 2015). These predictions 2004). Finally, diversification strategies, which improve on-farm allow farmers and other actors in the value chain to anticipate climate conditions, such as the establishment of shade trees can and adjust cropping systems to water scarcity or surplus. High- eventually improve labor conditions because while they may quality modeling in combination with good communication is require a large initial labor input this tails off substantially after thus essential to provide farmers meaningful information about tree establishment. current and future climate risks. Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems | www.frontiersin.org 7 April 2020 | Volume 4 | Article 32 van Zonneveld et al. Diversify Farms for Climate Change Adaptation TABLE 4 | Successful examples of diversified cropping, pasture, and agroforestry systems. Example 1: In the semi-arid regions of Myanmar, farmers manage a diversified cropping system with cash crops, such as cotton (Gossypium spp.) and sesame (Sesamum indicum), and food crops, such as rice (Oryza spp.), pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan), and mungbean (Vigna radiata) (Matsuda, 2013). This diversified farm system provides multiple income and subsistence sources under uncertain weather conditions. Example 2: Species mixtures have a high potential to diversify pasture lands because the diversification of sowing material does not substantially increase labor costs for a farmer and will increase and stabilize productivity. Pot experiments show that diversified pasture lands with multiple genotypes and multiple species increase the stability and productivity for meat and milk production under climate variability (Prieto et al., 2015). Legumes have a high potential to augment the functional trait diversity of tropical pastures (Schultze-Kraft et al., 2018). A large range of legume crops is available for different tropical agroecological zones (Schultze-Kraft et al., 2018). Example 3: The traditional Milpa system with maize (Zea mays), common beans (Phaseolus vulgaris), squash (Cucurbita spp.), and other crops is still an important cropping system in Mexico and Central America for the food security of many smallholder farmers (Isakson, 2009; Salazar-Barrientos et al., 2016). The Milpa system can be combined with growing export cash crops, such as coffee to get a diversified farm system, which meets multiple farmers’ goals related to income and food security (Morris et al., 2016). The Milpa system combines different functional traits including C4 cereals and legumes. The system rotates maize and beans and can be adapted to different climate conditions using different types of varieties and different types of rotation systems (Trouche et al., 2006). Several crops can be intercropped with maize, such as cucurbits (Salazar-Barrientos et al., 2016). When climate conditions are too dry for maize, this crop can be replaced by sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) (Trouche et al., 2006). Example 4: In the high-altitude regions of central Mexico, late season frost is a major threat to maize production. Changing climate has resulted in the late arrival of spring rains, a delay to the planting date and an increase in the risk of late season frost. Mexican farmers in these frost-prone areas minimize risk by diversifying their production area with more frost tolerant crops, such as oats (Avena sativa) and fava beans (Vicia faba) (Espitia Rangel et al., 2007; Maqbool et al., 2010). Maize is still the preferred crop and has a high market demand, so farmers tend to adjust the crop area based on the planting date; the later the planting date, the smaller the area planted with maize and the greater the area planted to a crop with higher frost tolerance (Eakin, 2005). Example 5: In the dry corridor of Central America and Yucatan peninsula, fruit trees provide a safety net in the dry season. Indigenous communities traditionally relied on Maya nut (Brosimum alicastrum) and other food tree species to cope with failed harvests in dry years (Gómez-Pompa, 1987). These trees were removed from the landscape to make way for more intensive farming practices. Different seed sources of Maya nut have now been identified for replanting in home gardens for food security in times of drought and to have a reliable forage supply for cattle (Vohman and Monro, 2011). Example 6: In East Africa, a drought-tolerant legume crop, desmodium (Desmodium intortum) has been tested successfully as an intercrop to repel stemborer moths from C4 maize-production systems in combination with the perennial C4 grass Brachiaria cv mulato which is planted in field borders to attract this pest (Midega et al., 2018). STEP 5. GAP ANALYSIS OF FUNCTIONAL practices provide a rich source of possibilities for rotations, intercropping, and agroforestry systems (Eakin, 2005; Hellin and DIVERSITY IN FARM SYSTEMS Dixon, 2008; Isakson, 2009) (Table 4, Example 3). Traditional polyculture systems can fall into disuse because of labor By filling functional gaps in farm systems, farmers can stabilize and even increase primary productivity of their farm systems constraints, poor markets, and erosion of local knowledge. It under climate change. This occurs via two distinct but linked is therefore important to address these economic and cultural constraints in order to maintain and improve traditional systems, agroecological mechanisms. First, diversification with crops and varieties, each with a differential response to climate stresses, and introduce new systems as well. Crop functional types help to differentiate between crops, stabilizes primary productivity in agroecosystems under climate variability. The second mechanism is related to diversification of which, because of their physiological differences, tolerate different types and different levels of climate stress (Table 2). For crops and management practices to foster ecological functions. Ecological functions increase and stabilize primary productivity polycultures, farmers ideally choose crops, which besides their differentiated tolerance to climate stresses, have complementary in farm systems and include climate regulation, water storage, nutrient cycling, and pest regulation. By understanding these traits to reduce competition for similar resources, such as different rooting depths, complementary nutrient requirements, two agroecological mechanisms and translating that knowledge into practical recommendations for decision-making, farmers and differential light interception patterns (Brooker et al., 2015). In this way, farmers can minimize competition for light, can make informed choices about adapting their farm systems to water, and nutrients between crops, and avoid production and climate change. income loss. The upper temperature ranges for the production of many Crop Choices for Differential Responses to ◦ ◦ crops is below 40 C while temperature conditions above 40 C Climate Stresses become more prevalent in tropical growing areas (Farooq et al., Spatial diversification stabilizes primary productivity of farm 2017). Only a limited amount of crops can adapt to temperatures systems under climate variability when crops with differential above 40 C, either through short growth seasons or by coping responses to climate stresses are grown in polycultures or in with high temperatures during sensitive development stages, separate fields. These crops expand together the physiological such as pollen development, fruit setting, and grain filling (Wahid range to produce a minimum yield under different climate et al., 2007; Barnabás et al., 2008). Table 2 gives a few examples conditions. In addition to physiological range expansion, positive of the crops which are reported to be strong candidates for plant interactions and niche complementary further increase and agricultural production under hot conditions. In contrast, low temperatures can cause production risks in mountain areas in stabilize agricultural productivity (Brookfield, 2001; Malézieux et al., 2009). tropical and subtropical regions (Table 4, Example 4). Plant production is principally limited by lack or excess of When considering polycultures to diversify farm systems in a specific area, local knowledge on crops and management water. Drought and flooding events have occurred with greater Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems | www.frontiersin.org 8 April 2020 | Volume 4 | Article 32 van Zonneveld et al. Diversify Farms for Climate Change Adaptation frequency over the past 50 years and the trend is predicted to some cereals, such as maize, landraces could be good choices in continue (Lobell et al., 2008). Despite the vulnerability of many strategies of on-farm diversification because they contain high plant species to drier conditions (McCord et al., 2015), a wide levels of genetic variation, which enable landraces to evolve under range of species is adapted to dry conditions in rain-fed systems. the interplay of human selection and climate change (Mercer Table 2 includes a few examples of species, which are reported and Perales, 2010; Vigouroux et al., 2011). Evaluation of these to be strong candidates for on-farm diversification of rain-fed landraces in different environments helps shed light on their systems under increasing drought conditions. potential for climate change adaptation and in breeding strategies C4-metabolism crops, such as maize (Zea mays) and sorghum in a similar way to the search for climate-adapted durum wheat (Sorghum spp.) have in general a high water-use efficiency and are landraces (Ceccarelli, 2015; Mengistu et al., 2016). better in tolerating water stress compared with C3-metabolism Even though breeders use advanced technologies, such as crops, such as wheat (Tritricum spp.) and sunflower (Helianthus genomic selection and editing to develop varieties with multiple annuus) because of their more efficient photosynthetic apparatus traits to tolerate climate stresses (Tester and Langridge, 2010; (Zhang and Kirkham, 1995; Nayyar and Gupta, 2006). This Mousavi-Derazmahalleh et al., 2019), it remains a challenge to makes C4 crops potential candidates for production under dry stack these traits in single varieties (Mercer and Perales, 2010). and hot conditions, although several C4 crops may be susceptible Alternatively, a traditional approach is to grow multiple varieties to water stress because of the wide diversity in C4 plant evolution of the same crop to respond to multiple stresses (Jarvis et al., 2008; (Ghannoum, 2009). Crassulacean Acid Metabolism (CAM) crops Matsuda, 2013; Salazar-Barrientos et al., 2016). Farmers can thus use significantly less water and can grow in higher temperatures diversify their farm systems by growing both multiple crops and compared with C3 and C4 crops. Some CAM crops, such as varietal mixtures. In the same line, livestock and feed producers pineapple (Ananas comosus) are commercial crops. The majority may prefer pasturelands, which are both rich in grass species and of CAM crops, however, are neglected or underutilized (Mizrahi rich in genotypes because these pasturelands are more productive et al., 2007; Yang et al., 2015). and recover better after extreme events, compared with less Tree planting is a common on-farm diversification strategy diverse ones in the same biotope (MacDougall et al., 2013; Prieto to improve microclimates after their establishment (Bryan et al., et al., 2015). 2009; Meldrum et al., 2018). Native tree species may be preferred candidates for diversification (Table 1, Example 7; Table 2). Crop Choices and Management Practices Since most tree species are wild or at an incipient stages of domestication, some exotic tree species can become invasive, to Foster Ecological Functions such as the American species Prosopis juliflora in African Diversification of farm systems in space and time can foster countries (Richardson, 1998), or can be highly competitive for ecological functions, such as climate regulation, water storage, water, such as Eucalyptus spp. and may outcompete understory nutrient cycling, and pest regulation. Farmers may find it useful crops under drought-stress conditions (Saxena, 1991; German to use a straightforward checklist of management practices, et al., 2006). Native food tree species provide also a reliable food which foster ecological functions to improve their farm systems source for farmer households in lean months (Graefe et al., 2012; (Table 5). Bacon et al., 2014) (Table 4, Example 5). Despite their potential Microclimates can be regulated by tree shade, which buffers importance for food and nutrition security, there is generally a against high temperatures above ground and in some cases lack of focus on these tree species in people’s diets under climate prevent frost damage (Barradas and Fanjul, 1986; Caramori et al., seasonality and inter-annual variability (Rowland et al., 2015). 1996) (Table 1, Example 2). Forage tree and shrub species, which As periods of drought become longer and more frequent, are planted along field borders, provide a wind-break to maintain farmers may need to replace water-competitive shade trees with moisture levels in agriculture fields (Holt-Giménez, 2002), and species, which are less water demanding. The pruning of tree are a source of animal fodder in times of drought (Kort, 1988; species reduces water stress and allows farmers to manage shade Tamang et al., 2010). Tree species can therefore be selected for (Bayala et al., 2002) while also providing mulch to conserve soils multiple goals in farm systems including for food or fodder and retain soil moisture (Hellin et al., 1999). production and to maintain ecological functions. With respect to water excess, food tree species from tropical On-farm diversification with cover crops and green manures floodplains and swamps, such as many palm species, tolerate long can improve and conserve soil by building up organic matter, periods of waterlogging (Table 2). In a similar line, sugarcane and adding nitrogen, improving soil structure, and reducing soil perennial forage grasses, such as Brachiaria spp., can withstand erosion (Cong et al., 2014). As a consequence, soil fertility, waterlogging conditions (Cardoso et al., 2013; Gomathi et al., infiltration, water holding capacity, and soil moisture can 2014). As with tree species, native forage grasses may be preferred increase, and with that the crops’ ability to cope with drought because of the risk that exotic ones become invasive (DiTomaso, (Erenstein, 2003; Waraich et al., 2011). However, under humid 2000). conditions and on poorly drained soils, mulching can cause Many traits related to stress tolerance can be found at variety waterlogging resulting in lower yields (Giller et al., 2009). Some level. Major advances have been made in breeding to increase cover crops are competitive for water, and if intercropped, they drought tolerance of main cereal crops, such as maize (Cairns can reduce the yields of the main crop under water limiting et al., 2013). Nevertheless, farmers may still want to diversify conditions. Therefore, selection of soil-improving intercrops with drought-tolerant minor cereals and legumes (Table 2). For or relay crops, which are water efficient, is important in Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems | www.frontiersin.org 9 April 2020 | Volume 4 | Article 32 van Zonneveld et al. Diversify Farms for Climate Change Adaptation TABLE 5 | Diversification strategies to maintain or include ecological functions in farm systems. Ecological function Climate related stress Mechanism Functional types Diversification strategy Microclimate regulation and Excess heat Block solar radiation, Shade producing plants, Plant trees to increase canopy density shade provision cooling trees and shrubs Disturbance regulation Strong winds, typhoon Physical wind break Trees and shrubs, coastal Place of hedgerows and wind breaks mangroves Water regulation Excess water, extreme rain Improved soil structure and Deep rooting plants, trees events drainage and shrubs Soil retention Extreme wind and rain Physical soil stabilization, Shrubs, trees, grasses, and Used as living barriers in sloping land events protection of soil surface cover crops and soil cover in annual systems Soil formation and nutrient Drought, cold-associated Improved soil structure and Biomass-producing crops, Residue retention and reduced tillage, cycling hydric stress nutrient retention leguminous plants intercropping, relay cropping, pruning leguminous trees Biological regulation Shifts in pest and disease Habitat diversification, Crop/pest specific Intercropping, planting in field borders ranges and pressures predator habitat provision, trap crops, microclimate management drought-prone environments. Alternative management options multiple spatial scales makes farms more resilient against extreme in semi-arid regions include external biomass input from weather events. hedgerows or woodlots and establishment of rotation schemes Caution is needed when introducing a new crop into a farm with cover crops. system since it can be a host of new crop diseases (Marshall, 1977; Crop residue incorporation is an important practice to Anderson et al., 2004). Often, however, it is only a question of improve soil quality (Turmel et al., 2015). In mixed cropping time until a pest or disease arrives because of globalized food and livestock systems, especially in semi-arid areas, trade-offs export and import, and shifting distributions of pest and diseases exist between using residues for fodder or soil cover (Giller due to climate change (Shaw and Osborne, 2011; Bebber et al., et al., 2009). In many areas, however, farmers require these 2013). On-farm diversification is therefore a good preparation residues for animal feed and in some cases they earn more for when these pests or diseases arrive. First, crop diversification from selling the residues for feed than they can from the maize may reduce the risk of pest and disease outbreaks related they grow (Beuchelt et al., 2015). If farmers leave at least a to monoculture host plants (Rosenzweig et al., 2001). Some portion of their residues in their fields, then they provide soil pests and pathogens, however, use a wide range of host plants, cover and build organic matter (Turmel et al., 2015). Alternative which limits the potential of crop diversification for preventing biomass-producing crops and sources of forages and soil cover these outbreaks (Ratnadass et al., 2011). Second, heterogeneity can be introduced in intercropping, agroforestry, or silvopastoral in vegetation and crops obstruct pest movement and provide systems to address these needs. habitats for natural pest enemies (Avelino et al., 2012). Finally, Holt-Giménez (2002) showed how diversification of a wide range of plant species, which repel or attract pests, is Nicaraguan farm systems with agroecological practices, available to farmers. By understanding which climate stresses such as soil cover, windbreaks, crop rotation, and alley these plant species tolerate, they can be selected for pest control cropping, protected farmers’ fields during extreme weather under changing climate conditions (Table 4, Example 6). events compared with farmers’ conventional practices (Table 1, Example 1). This evidence suggests that diversification enables STEP 6. SELECTION OF ON-FARM farm systems to recover more quickly from extreme weather DIVERSIFICATION OPTIONS events compared with uniform farm systems. Diversification across multiple spatial scales beyond the farm To support on-farm diversification, all the relevant information level is thought to further stabilize micro and mesoclimates and mentioned in steps 1 to 5 can be combined in a decision make farm systems more resilient against extreme weather events model, which captures multiple criteria (Figure 2). For many (Kremen et al., 2012). Forest patches surrounding cropping crops no exact information about markets and optimal growing systems and pasturelands may control rainfall distributions and conditions exist. Alternatively, ranking and scaling by a group regulate temperatures at meso-level, but more evidence is needed of persons already provides robust estimates and comparisons (Teuling et al., 2010; Lawrence and Vandecar, 2015). Preliminary (Hubbard, 2014; van Etten et al., 2016). These straightforward evidence show that farm systems in a diversified landscape indeed scoring approaches help determine which crops, varieties, and recover more quickly from extreme weather events compared management practices are more appropriate for farmers’ goals, with farm systems in uniform landscapes but the finding are not such as income stability, food security, and/or nutrition; which yet conclusive (Philpott et al., 2008; Gil et al., 2017). Monitoring crops and varieties require more or less labor, and so on. farm systems in areas with extreme weather events will help to Selected diversification options can be further evaluated on-farm collect more data to understand further how diversification at to test how well they fit farmers’ realities, goals, and aspirations. Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems | www.frontiersin.org 10 April 2020 | Volume 4 | Article 32 van Zonneveld et al. Diversify Farms for Climate Change Adaptation FIGURE 2 | Decision model to select crops and management practices for on-farm diversification. The existing enabling factors as defined in step 2 determine the availability of crop choices. Crops can be chosen using multiple criteria in function of the farmers’ goals defined in step 1; disabling factors defined in step 3; climate stresses defined in step 4; and a gap analysis of functional diversity in step 5. The selection of these options can be done in focus-group of vegetable species to different climate stresses because these are discussions in farmer communities with farmers, practitioners, potentially interesting crops for diversification. and researchers, and by interviewing key persons from farmer communities, as well external actors, which could support STEP 7. EVALUATION AND LEARNING farmers in access to markets, germplasm, climate information, credit, or insurance (Schattman et al., 2015; Morris et al., Participatory evaluation is a cost-effective way to evaluate crops, 2016). varieties, and management practices despite high transaction Crop options are available for different agroecological zones. costs in communication and information exchange (Almekinders In all these zones, legumes and trees are common functional types et al., 2007; Thomas et al., 2007). For on-farm testing of new to diversify farm systems for climate change adaptation (Tables 2, crops, varieties, and management practices, home gardens are 4). Some studies suggest that a low optimum number of on-farm convenient because farmers traditionally use these places for diversification options for semi-arid agroecological zones (Waha experimentation (Williams, 2004; Galluzzi et al., 2010). After et al., 2018). Therefore, it would be important to maximize the evaluation, farmers can decide if they wish adopt these new functional diversity in semi-arid regions within a few crops (see options and how best to incorporate them in their farm systems. Table 2). For uptake and scaling of diversification measures within Many crops, which are hardy and can tolerate climate stresses, communities, it is often advantageous to work initially with the are neglected and underutilized (Table 2). The reality is that most most innovative female and male farmers, such as custodian or of these crops have limited market opportunities. A selection of lighthouse farmers. They are often the most eager to experiment the crops with most potential for both climate change adaptation with diversification options and can subsequently inspire others and markets, and targeted and long-term efforts to strengthen (Hellin and Dixon, 2008). Researchers and practitioners can both supply of and demand for these selected crops, can help to foster knowledge exchange between farmers by supporting support farmers to diversify their farms with these crops (Table 1, farmer networks. Women and other vulnerable groups in many Examples 3 and 8). countries, would need to be involved in these activities to prevent Among high-value crops, vegetable species are commercially increase in inequality as a consequence of differential access to interesting for smallholder farmers and easy to incorporate in information and learning opportunities (Tompkins and Adger, farm systems. However, we found little research on climate stress 2004). tolerance in vegetable species compared with species from other Agricultural innovation systems are another form to crop groups. Further research is needed to evaluate the response share knowledge and to encourage learning about on-farm Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems | www.frontiersin.org 11 April 2020 | Volume 4 | Article 32 van Zonneveld et al. Diversify Farms for Climate Change Adaptation diversification options among farmers, and other private, most compelling examples of scaling agroecological practices are public, and societal actors in value chains (Schut et al., 2014) agroecological farmer-to-farmer networks in Central America, (Table 1, Example 9). Feedback and information exchange on Mexico, and Cuba (Table 1, Example 1). These networks show crop and variety performance between germplasm suppliers, the importance of horizontal learning from farmer-to-farmer farmers, and other actors improves site-specific crop and variety and through the establishment of dialogues between farmers and recommendations and enhances farmers’ access to high-quality other actors (Holt-Giménez, 2006; Morris et al., 2016). Therefore, germplasm (van Etten et al., 2019). in addition to the four essential steps mentioned above, step 7 in our decision-framework on evaluation and learning is another important step in the diversification of farm systems. The framework identifies insurance policies and market access DISCUSSION as two additional enabling factors for on-farm diversification, In this paper, we propose seven steps to work with farmers in in recognition of farmers’ needs for enabling institutional making choices about the development, selection, evaluation, and environments to incentivize on-farm changes in crop and land implementation of on-farm diversification strategies for climate management. Network structures for agricultural innovation change adaptation. These steps are based on existing concepts for sustainable agriculture link farmer organizations to markets on climate change adaptation, which are often recommended and insurance providers (Schut et al., 2014). We are not separately. Complementary to existing tools, which recommend aware of successful policies to link insurance products to on- agroecological practices (Altieri et al., 2015), select species (de farm diversification, and we recommend policy-makers and Sousa et al., 2019), or economically optimize crop portfolios practitioners to pilot these combinations. (Werners et al., 2011), this decision-making framework brings The framework stresses the importance of understanding the together agroecological, agrobotanical, social, and economic goals of different farm household members and their diverse considerations and recommendations from different disciplines, livelihood options and preferences. This provides the basis on and links these to farmers’ goals and constraints. The framework, which to establish a dialogue on diversifying farm systems, and coupled with extensive field experience from Latin America, Sub- allows to consider gender in the selection of diversification Saharan Africa, and Asia, offers a practical and comprehensive strategies. We stress this, because this may not always happen, tool for researchers and practitioners to establish a dialogue resulting in a focus on profit-maximization in projects biased with farm households or with farmer groups to develop on-farm to narrow economic objectives or to poor linkage between diversification strategies. recommended agroecological practices and the objectives of the We argue that the four most essential elements for selection different members of farm households. of appropriate on-farm diversification options are: step 1 To ensure that recommended practices align with farmers’ on understanding farmers’ goals, which is the basis of any economic objectives, we recommend practitioners and adaptation plan; step 2 on identifying enabling factors to identify researchers to work with farmers in estimating the production opportunities to support farmers with financial and technical costs and economic benefits of their existing farm systems in support; step 5 on assessing gaps in functional diversity in comparison with more diversified systems. Farmers are likely to farm systems, which need to be filled to adapt farm systems determine the optimum extent of on-farm diversification by the to climate change; and step 6 on the selection of on-farm balance between the labor input and other management costs diversification options to fill these gaps. These four steps would be associated with diversifying their farm systems, and the benefits the minimum needed to work with farmers in the development from increased and more stable productivity leading to enhanced and selection of viable on-farm diversification options for climate income and food security as a result of on-farm diversification. change adaptation. Since labor constraints increase with climate change, it will be Practitioners, policy-makers, and farmer organizations who important to consider these increased labor costs in cost-benefit aim to incite farmers to diversify their farm systems in a analysis and the implementation of diversification strategies. specific territory, can use the framework as a check box and Recommended practices to diversify farm systems under climate follow the steps in this framework on the basis of their change should therefore minimize extra labor, more so because of existing knowledge and with support of local and international growing labor-scarcity due to rural-urban migration (Bacud et al., research organizations and networks. For example, the CGIAR 2019). This fits well to the existing lesson in scaling agroecology Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food to promote effective and straightforward agroecological practices Security (CCAFS) provides a toolbox to select climate-smart (Holt-Giménez, 2001). When these practices minimize extra options (https://csa.guide/). Agroecological networks, such as the labor, then this will help to the successful implementation of Community Agroecological Network (CAN), have established diversification measures. guidelines to carry out participatory action research (Méndez On-farm diversification strategies contribute effectively to et al., 2017). CSA and SDG policies, which many governments aim to The framework counts in the lessons learned from successful promote to enhance food security, climate change adaptation, cases on scaling agroecological practices (Mier et al., 2018). and sustainable development (Lipper et al., 2014; Totin et al., These cases stress the importance to foster farmer organization 2018; Willett et al., 2019). On-farm diversification contributes and external support as two key enabling factors, and to select less to climate change mitigation, which is another important effective and straightforward agroecological practices. One of the component of CSA and SDG 13 on Climate Action. Although Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems | www.frontiersin.org 12 April 2020 | Volume 4 | Article 32 van Zonneveld et al. Diversify Farms for Climate Change Adaptation several on-farm diversification strategies, such as agroforestry or diversification options by connecting with local, national, growing cover crops already address mitigation by sequestering and international private companies, farmer organizations, carbon, this is not their primary goal when adapting farm public and private extension services, NGOs, as well as systems to the adverse effects of global climate change. On- research institutes. farm diversification in integrated CSA strategies should therefore The key is to work with farmers in a participatory way and be evaluated for their mitigation potential and when necessary to prioritize their constraints, aspirations, and opportunities for combined with other mitigation strategies. on-farm diversification. A failure to do so, risks stymieing CSA In some cases, on-farm diversification will not be sufficient efforts and ultimately perpetuating the vulnerability of those to reduce the vulnerability of farmers to climate change (Harvey farmers who are often the target group of CSA. This would also et al., 2014); on-farm diversification options simply do not save result in CSA falling well short of its potential to contribute sufficient labor or sufficiently increase or stabilize net income. meaningfully to several of the SDGs including 13: Climate Action; In these cases, off-farm diversification, such as seasonal labor in SDG 1: No Poverty; SDG 2: Zero Hunger; and SDG 15 Life the non-agricultural sectors or a permanent exit from agriculture, on Land. may be a better option for farmers to adapt to climate change (Hansen et al., 2019). AUTHOR CONTRIBUTIONS All authors listed have made a substantial, direct and intellectual CONCLUSIONS contribution to the work, and approved it for publication. On-farm diversification is a key component of a range of climate change adaptation and mitigations practices and technologies FUNDING known collectively as CSA. Poorer farmers are particularly This study was supported by Hivos, the Central American vulnerable to climate change and it is, hence, even more research platform on Production and Conservation in imperative that diversification options address the resources Partnership (PCP) and the CGIAR Research Programs available to them and their aspirations. Increasing resources Humidtropics, and Climate Change, Agriculture and Food are being directed at CSA and we suggest following the seven Security (CCAFS), with support from CGIAR Fund and steps presented in this paper as an approach to working with Donors. Funding for the World Vegetable Center’s general farmers for appropriate on-farm diversification as part of climate research activities was provided by core donors: Republic change adaptation and mitigation efforts. The seven steps provide of China (Taiwan), UK aid from the UK government, a framework to identify appropriate diversification options United States Agency for International Development (USAID), in the context of farmers’ agroecological and socio-economic Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research conditions: (step 1) defining farmers’ goals; (step 2) assessment (ACIAR), the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation of enabling factors; (step 3) assessment of disabling factors; (step and Development of Germany, Thailand, Philippines, Korea, 4) assessment of current and future climate-related production and Japan. risks; (step 5) gap analysis of functional diversity; (step 6) selection of on-farm diversification options; and finally (step 7) evaluation and learning. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Governments often have few economic resources to put in We thank Abigail Fallot from CIRAD, the editor, and the force an agenda for CSA and, hence, network structures for two reviewers for valuable comments in the development of agricultural innovation are vital for sustainable agriculture under this paper. climate change. Scale effects often favor monocultures. There are, however, several examples how food and feed demand in combination with adequate germplasm supply enables large SUPPLEMENTARY MATERIAL numbers of farmers to diverse their farm systems and access markets. A successful example is diversified horticultural systems The Supplementary Material for this article can be found with high-value fruit and vegetable species for urban markets. online at: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fsufs. Networks of agricultural innovation enable farmers to adopt 2020.00032/full#supplementary-material REFERENCES Altieri, M. A., and Merrick, L. C. (1987). 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Cold stress tolerance mechanisms in plants. A review. Agron. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these Sustain. Dev. 30, 515–527. doi: 10.1051/agro/2009050 terms. Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems | www.frontiersin.org 19 April 2020 | Volume 4 | Article 32 van Zonneveld et al. Diversify Farms for Climate Change Adaptation GLOSSARY Modern Portfolio Theory: Optimization technique to determine optimal number and type of crops or land-use systems Agricultural innovation system or network: A network of to manage production risks for specific expected returns on actors including researchers, input suppliers, extension agents, investment under climate change. In MPT, risks are defined as farmers, traders, processors, and other actors who are engaged the variance in returns to expected production or gross margin in the creation and use of knowledge relevant to agricultural across years. production and marketing (Spielman et al., 2008). Polyculture: Multiple cropping systems, such as Agroecosystem: A site or integrated region of agricultural intercropping systems and multistrata systems. production understood as an ecosystem with organisms, such Resilience: The amount of change a system can undergo and as crop plant individuals, populations of crops, communities of still remain within the same domain of attraction (Gallopín, polycultures, and ecosystems as farms or watersheds (Gliessman, 2006). This is related to the extent that farmers can adapt their 2014). farming systems to climate change (Eakin et al., 2012). On-farm diversification refers to the incorporation of Smallholders: Farmers who own small-based plots of land species, plant varieties or breeds, and management practices on which they grow subsistence crops and one or two cash and land-use systems in farm systems in space and time crops and generally rely principally on family labor. Smallholders through a range of spatial practices, such as polycultures, generally have <2 ha of land in production but farm-size is agroforestry systems, field scattering, and hedgerows; and context-specific. In the western highlands of Guatemala many temporal diversification through crop rotations (Somarriba, farm households have access to land well below 2 ha (Hellin 1992; Vandermeer, 1992; Goland, 1993; Brookfield, 2001; et al., 2017) while in parts of Brazil a smallholder farmer may Liebman and Dyck, 2007; Kremen et al., 2012). own up to 50 ha. Smallholders often have limited marketing, Crop functional type: Practical ecological approach to storage, and processing capacity. The average annual income group crops with similar traits and responses to changes in for commercial smallholder production in generally below 5,000 environmental factors (Lavorel and Garnier, 2002; Bondeau et al., USD/year (Lowder et al., 2016). 2007; Gilbert and Holbrook, 2011). Neglected and underutilized crops: Neglected crops may Farm system: A decision-making unit comprising the farm be globally distributed, but tend to occupy special niches household, cropping, agroforestry, and/or livestock systems, in the local ecology and in production and consumption which transforms land, capital, and labor into useful products, systems. While these crops continue to be maintained by socio- which can be consumed or sold (adjusted from Fresco and cultural preferences and use practices, they remain inadequately Westphal, 1988). characterized and neglected by research and conservation. Many Germplasm: Living tissue from which new plants can be underutilized crops were once more widely grown but have fallen grown, such as seeds, meristem, or pollen. into disuse for a variety of agronomic, genetic, economic and Index insurance: Payouts are based on an index (such as the cultural factors. Farmers and consumers are using these crops less total seasonal rainfall or average crop yield for a larger area) and because these crops are in some way not competitive with other this reduces the costs of insuring farmers (Bell et al., 2013). crops in the same agricultural environment (Padulosi et al., 2002). Local knowledge: A collection of certainties and experiences, These crops include food and forage tree species and any other which relate to a system of concepts, beliefs, and perceptions, agricultural plant species; they are also known as minor, orphan, which people hold about their environment. This includes the underexploited, underdeveloped, lost, new, novel, promising, way people observe and measure their surroundings, how they alternative, local, traditional, or niche crops. solve problems and validate new information. It includes the Whole farm insurance: A single insurance, which covers processes whereby knowledge is generated, stored, applied, and the covariate risk of jointly produced farm crop and livestock transmitted to others (Warburton and Martin, 1999). enterprises (Turvey, 2012). Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems | www.frontiersin.org 20 April 2020 | Volume 4 | Article 32

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