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The CSA booster

The CSA Booster is a project which aims to promote Climate Smart Agriculture across Europe. Watch Dr Matthieu Arnoult explain more.
Hello. I’m Matthieu Arnoult, and I work at the School of Agriculture at the University of Reading. So far, CSA uptake has been more popular in developing countries than it has been in developed countries. This may be down to the fact that farming systems in developing countries are quite different from what they are in developed countries– usually, small family units centred on subsistence crops, labour-intensive, resource-poor, notoriously low access to financing means, which means they have no investment capacities. Because of farming systems being so different, solutions which are valid in developing countries cannot be directly applied in developed countries.
If we add to that the fact that climate change is not felt so keenly in developed countries so far, we are looking at a very different strategy to develop the concept in developed countries. At the University of Reading, we are part of the CSA Booster consortium of five European partners financed by the EIT, the European Institute of Innovation and Technology. Those five European partners are, beyond the University of Reading, the University of Wageningen, Alterra, in the Netherlands, the French research institute INRA, the Institute of Biometeorology, IBIMET, in Italy, and the South Pole Group in Switzerland. Together, we are working on promoting climate-smart agriculture in Europe and beyond.
The CSA Booster will bring together a network of partners to identify, assess, demonstrate, and implement CSA solutions at scale. It aims to be an independent broker between solution providers and users by creating an open innovation platform. It will also develop a set of integrated services such as matchmaking and brokering, education and training, technology impact assessment, and so on. By 2020, the CSA Booster aims to reach a target of 10 million tonnes’ CO2 equivalent per year of reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions, coupled to a 30-million-euro reduction in damage and losses per year, as well as a 20-million-euro investment of CSA solutions per year. Potential solutions include anaerobic digesters which use slurry to generate biogas which is then used to power farm machinery.
We also have, for instance, in terms of crops, long-term crop rotations for pest management. Beyond technology, we are also looking at financing tools or training and education capacity to help farmers achieve whatever goal they need to make sure that CSA becomes a reality. Climate-smart agriculture is simple in principle, but the difficulty lies in finding the right solution for each specific case, as every farmer, every farm, will have a different set of conditions, in terms of soil, weather, environment, even the farmer’s skills. That’s where the challenge lies.

The University of Reading is a partner of the CSA Booster, which aims at promoting CSA in Europe. In this video, Dr Matthieu Arnoult talks about how the CSA Booster works.

Do you like the concept of the CSA Booster or do you think there are better ways to help farmers to adapt to climate change? Let us know your thoughts in the comment area below. Don’t forget you can ‘like’ or reply to comments made by your fellow learners.

References and further reading:

You can read more about the CSA Booster on the Climate-KIC website.

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The Future of Farming: Exploring Climate Smart Agriculture

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