I was asked what challenges there are for agriculture and food production in the tropics, including Brazil and Indonesia, so I wrote down three. I have also written about the solutions we are working on in Indonesia.
In terms of food and agriculture, tropical areas face three main challenges. Firstly, as indicated in the IPCC Reasons to concern, the areas most affected by climate change as a disaster are considered tropical areas.
These areas already have high temperatures and high rainfall variability. As a result, they are less buffered by climate change and have less capacity to adapt to it than other regions. Compared to agriculture in the developed world, agriculture in the developing world is not considered significant for carbon emissions. However, both countries are the last large forest areas left on earth, and when agriculture is considered alongside agroforestry, it has significant responsibility for carbon emissions. On a national scale, agriculture in both countries is responsible for over 30% of GHG emissions due to chemical fertilisers, inefficient logistics, and mismanaged land use. These types of emissions are the largest sources of greenhouse gas emitting in the tropical region. Solving these problems of food and climate change at the same time will require innovative technologies. At present, we are using relatively simple technologies to reform agriculture. Still, if we would like to use more innovative technologies, we will have to learn advanced skills besides agriculture. Developing countries are generally slower to adopt innovative technologies and have a lower capacity to learn them. This slower uptake of technologies can delay agricultural development.
Mitigation/decarbonisation technologies include biogas, composts, and agroforestry. These technologies provide not only opportunities to extract CO2 from the atmosphere, but also improve the soil condition of agricultural areas and make organic fertilisers. We will assess value chains beyond typical agricultural products and assess the opportunity to make commercial products such as soaps and candles by utilising raw products. We plan to sell carbon credit and work on online/offline educational programs as an agro-tourism. Commercialisation will include online selling, restaurants, big shops, local, national and international marketing. As climate change adaptation, Indonesia has been giving farmers field training to teach climate and climate change issues. We had a seed fund to use smart glasses to enhance cacao farmer training.