The Climate and Clean Air Coalition: Investing towards productive and greener rice in Colombia
“We need to assemble a comprehensive program that aims to utilize capacities and resources to motivate the reduction of emissions in every agricultural system in Colombia, so that it can be released massively”. Those were the words from Dr. Nelson Lozano, Coordinator of Climate Change and the Ministry of Rural Development (MADR), on 13 February 2015, at the launch of the new Clean Climate and Air Coalition (CCAC) funded component of the CCAC agriculture initiative aimed at reducing methane emissions from flooded rice fields.
The meeting was jointly organized by The International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and The National Federation of Rice Producers in Colombia (FEDEARROZ) with the aim of presenting this component to key stakeholders working on rice and climate change in Colombia. CIAT’s rice programme leader, Dr. Edgar Torres, presented a brief history of the CCAC and its goal of reducing short-lived climate pollutants. The Latin America project coordinator, Dr. Jeimar Tapasco, from CIAT, then presented the objectives of the new CCAC agriculture initiative. Briefly, he stated that while the main aim of the project was to disseminate alternate wetting and drying (AWD) on large scale to facilitate both, more stable food supply and reduction in methane emissions, during the first phase of the component there was need to first determine specific locations where this technology is suitable. In addition, there was need to raise awareness on the impacts of short-lived climate pollutes, such as methane, and attract invests in projects aimed at reducing them. Figure 1 shows the pathway that has been adopted to enable achievement objectives of the first phase.
Figure 1. Steps of Phase I for the project “Reducing Methane Emissions in Paddy Rice” (CCAC).
FEDEARROZ’ technical director, Patricia Guzmán, emphasized the importance and the interest of producing rice to secure the country’s food safety generating an environmentally sustainable development. She also mentioned that the programme for massive adoption of technology (AMTEC) had enabled farmers to increase their productivity, decrease costs and reduce the levels of water used in different areas of the country. Therefore, a focus on emissions was timely and welcome as Fedearroz is committed at reaching a balance between high yields and clean crop production. Leader of CCAFS Regional Program for Latin America, Dr. Ana Maria Loboguerrero, highlighted the fact that this program aims to improve the development of the agricultural area without leaving aside the adaptability itself. The half day meeting was attended by several stakeholders from the government, international organizations and Non-governmental organizations (NGOs).