Skip main navigation

Examples of CSA

What climate smart solutions are available? In this article, Dr Marie Dittmann outlines some examples and how they relate to the principles of CSA.
A field with sheep and lambs
© University of Reading

The principles of CSA are very much context specific. This means that for every agricultural practice, every sector, and every farm there might be an individual climate-smart solution that might not be applicable elsewhere. Below are some specific examples of how CSA can be applied. While all practices aim at maintaining productivity, some are aimed at adapting to climate change, while others can help to mitigate the emission of GHGs.


Some of the current adaptation strategies in CSA involve the following measures:

  • More seasonal flexibility in planting crops or breeding livestock
  • More precise prediction of weather patterns to match actions to the weather
  • Use of animal and plant breeds / strains / species that are more resilient to climatic changes
  • Avoid heat stress in livestock
  • Use of efficient irrigation systems like drip or sprinkle irrigation (in combination with soil-moisture monitoring equipment)
  • Flood drainage
  • Sustainable soil management to increase soil quality and resilience
  • Desalination of soils in coastal areas that suffer from flooding
  • Efficient water management


Mitigation of GHG emissions can be fostered through the implementation of some of the measures below:

  • Reduce methane emission and feed efficiency in ruminants by changing their diet or feed additives
  • Use fertilisers in a more targeted way to decrease nitrous oxide emissions
  • Reduction of fertiliser use thanks to sustainable soil management
  • Agroforestry and silvopastural techniques to increase carbon sequestration
  • Perennial crop cover to increase carbon sequestration and crop rotation including legumes to increase nitrogen sequestration
  • Use manure fermenters to gain methane as a source of energy
  • Reduce carbon dioxide emissions by saving energy or increasing efficiency (LED lights, efficient engines, efficient routes) throughout the whole value chain
  • Efficient waste management

Some measures fit into both categories and could help to mitigate both the impact of agriculture on climate and adapt to climate change at the same time. For example, smart irrigation, manages limited water availability and at the same time prevents fertiliser leaching into the soil.

Can you share any further examples that would fit in with the principle of CSA? Share your thoughts in the comment area below.

References and further reading:

If you would like to find out more, you can read about other examples in this brochure created by the Worldbank.

© University of Reading
This article is from the free online

The Future of Farming: Exploring Climate Smart Agriculture

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education