Climate-friendly farming has a wide array of benefits that span beyond mitigation. On one hand, introducing certain practices such as agroforestry and reduced tillage can help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and therefore, help to keep global warming below 2°C. However, these practices can also help farmers to adapt to the effects of a changing climate, which is already happening, and offer additional socio-economic advantages.
Some wider benefits such as greater resilience to water stress or higher water holding capacity of the soil are not always easily noticed in farmers' daily work, however they can be observed long-term. In 2017, many SOLMACC farmers had seen a good harvest compared to their previous yields, but also compared to other farms in their region. While the crops on some other farms suffered from insufficient rain, the SOLMACC measures such as mulching, low tillage or applying compost demonstrated their positive effects by lowering the water stress and allowing crops to grow.
Climate-friendly farming demonstrates that food security is not necessarily about the absolute highest yields. It is also about lowering the multitude of risks faced by farmers by adapting to a changing environment.
In 2017, the SOLMACC team developed a brochure on socio-economic strategies in 4 languages to share solutions for viable climate-friendly farming with a wider public. Furthermore, we held a workshop to assess which policy changes are needed to support climate-friendly farming in Europe and ensure a greater uptake of innovative and beneficial practices.
2018 will be the final year of the SOLMACC project and we are looking forward to many exciting events and publications: SOLMACC will be presented at a BioFach session, every SOLMACC farm will hold a final open field day to demonstrate the impact applying innovative practices, we will hold a public event in May, and we will also publish a practitioners’ manual to ensure greater uptake of climate-friendly farming.