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Evaluating farmer priorities and readiness to adopt new water, energy, and agricultural solutions in Lebanon









​FAO. 2021. Evaluating farmer priorities and readiness to adopt new water, energy, and agricultural solutions in Lebanon. Policy brief. Rome.


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    As Lebanon faces compound challenges including a pandemic, economic, financial and political failure, a looming food security crisis is rapidly approaching. Much of this crisis could be attributed to the lack of long-term planning and investment in the sustainability of the agricultural sector. Another challenge lies in the existing disconnect between decision making between the agricultural sector, and other interconnected sectors, including water, energy, health, economy, among others. This is exacerbated by the lack of integrative national tools that allow for quantifying the trade-offs associated with possible plans and interventions, which could play a role in facilitating a dialogue be-tween multiple sectors and stakeholder groups. Supported by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Faculty of Agriculture and Food Sciences at the American University of Beirut has worked to-ward 1) identifying and quantifying the critical inter-connections between water, energy, and food sys-tems in Lebanon; 2) developing a framework to as-sess the trade-offs associated with adopting inter-ventions within current water, energy, and agriculture portfolios and practices.
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    This study used a water–energy–food system-of-systems assessment to evaluate the sustainability of the Mediterranean diet in Lebanon. The specific aims were to: 1) identify and quantify the critical interconnections between water, energy and food systems in Lebanon; 2) develop a nexus framework to assess the trade-offs associated with adopting interventions within current water, energy and agriculture portfolios and practices; 3) evaluate stakeholder perceptions around regional resource challenges and their willingness to implement proposed interventions.
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    Climate-Smart Agriculture in Seychelles 2019
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    The climate smart agriculture (CSA) concept reflects an ambition to improve the integration of agriculture development and climate responsiveness. It aims to achieve food security and broader development goals under a changing climate and increasing food demand. CSA initiatives sustainably increase productivity, enhance resilience, and reduce/remove greenhouse gases (GHGs), and require planning to address trade-offs and synergies between three pillars: productivity, adaptation and mitigation. The priorities of different countries and stakeholders are reflected to achieve more efficient, effective, and equitable food systems that address challenges in environment, social, and economic dimensions across productive landscapes. The country profile provides a snapshot of a developing baseline created to initiate discussion, both within countries and globally, about entry points for investing in CSA at scale. Seychelles is a small island state in the western Indian Ocean, which has developed a high-income economy and eliminated extreme poverty. Agriculture contributes about 2.2% of the country’s gross domestic product with tourism and the fisheries and seafood industries serving as the main pillars of the economy. Agricultural land occupies about 3.4% of the total land area of the country. A large portion of the land area (88.4%) is covered by forest mainly natural and established plantations for commercial purposes. Seychelles is divided into two large agro-climatic zones based on biophysical characteristics- mountainous/forest zone high ground and coastal plateau. In terms of agriculture, two agroecological zones can be distinguished mainly based on soil: upland and sandy soil. Main cropping systems includes food crop-based systems and perennial crop-based systems. Livestock production include goat, pig and chicken. Most crop production is under rainfed or irrigation system. Most farms are under 2 ha with backyard farming done to supplement household food or income. The main crops and products include coconut, cinnamon, vanilla, sweet potato, cassava, banana and tuna. Seychelles has the highest rate of overweight and obesity in Africa due to the shift from predominantly unprocessed traditional foods to a more westernised dietary intake consisting mainly of refined and processed foods. most greenhouse gas (GHG) emission come from the energy sector, followed by waste and agriculture which contributes 0.79% of the total. Seychelles has outlined in its nationally determined contributions mitigation actions in the forestry, energy and transport, and waste sectors. In agriculture, actions to mitigate climate change include: promotion of agricultural practises such as agroforestry which would involve mainstreaming strategies to limit deforestation and increase the sink capacity of forests. Challenges for the agricultural sector include (i) deforestation and unsuccessful intensification, (ii) uncontrolled urbanisation, land clearing, bush fires and population pressure, and (iii) high reliance on food imports. Agriculture in Seychelles is limited by a lack of arable land and extreme rainfall patterns and meteorological events like tropical storms, floods and droughts. Climate change poses serious challenges to the country such as uncontrolled economic and social consequences of floods, land degradation, sea-level rise, coastal erosion, declining agricultural yields, health vulnerability, and increased occurrence of drought. CSA technologies and practises present opportunities for addressing climate change challenges as well as for economic growth and development of the agriculture sector. Identified CSA practises in use in the country include: crop production under shade houses, inter cropping, use of organic manure and mulch, use of weather information, water control through irrigation, anti-erosion arrangement, windbreak and shelter, and use of climate-adapted seeds. Seychelles has several key institutions and policies aimed at supporting and increasing agriculture productivity and advancing CSA practises. These include government ministries and agency structures of ministries, firms operating in the agricultural sector, academic institutions, specialised laboratories and agricultural research institutes and training centres. The Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change (MEECC) serving as the country’s UNFCCC focal point and nationally designated authority to the Green Climate Fund is responsible for country’s climate change plans and policies. On the agriculture front the ministry of agriculture and fisheries is the key government institution for partnerships for climate-smart agriculture work in the communities as well as for policy and investment related issues through the national agricultural investment plan. A number of csa-related policies and strategies have been developed: National Programme on climate change strategy, national strategy for disaster risk management, national biodiversity strategy and action plan and the mainstreaming of climate change adaptation into the country’s strategic plan- a definitive document intended to guide land-use management up to the year 2040. A number of projects that foster the development of knowledge and evidence on the effectiveness of climate smart agriculture in improving food security, mitigating climate change and improving the adaptive capacities of production systems and populations in Seychelles have received support from various donors and financing schemes. In addition, AfDB, COMESA, FAO, EU, IFAD, etc. have invested hugely in several aspects of the climate/agricultural sector of Seychelles which also include the development and promotion of csa innovations. From various sources of climate finance available internationally, Seychelles is currently eligible for only a limited number of these and has not wholly accessed major funding instruments such as the Green Climate Fund and Adaptation Fund. The county is a small island nation whose prospects rely heavily on external demand, especially tourism. This poses major challenges for diversification and resilience. Its commitment to csa is relatively new with limited institutions and sources of funding.

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