Climate-smart employed: cost for equipment and machinery that

Climate-smart agriculture (CSA) may be defined as an
approach for transforming and reorienting agricultural development under the
new realities of climate change.This paper analyses CSA in Guatemala, which was ranked 9th
among countries most affected by extreme climate events in the past two decades.The main aim of this study is to assess the costs and
benefits of climate-smart agriculture in Guatemala.The method used in assessing the climate-smart agriculture in Guatemala includes:Literature review on practices used in CSA with respect to
their costs and benefits and Literature review on crops used in CSA with
respect to their costs and benefits.Concerning obtaining secondary data sources using the
literature review on practices in CSA, the following practices employed in CSA will
be considered based on their costs and benefits: Mulching, Crop rotation, Contour
farming, Water reservoir/ ponds + drip irrigationThese practices will be explained in details in the
subsequent sections.  Concerning obtaining secondary data sources using literature
review on crops used in CSA, cost-benefit analyses of the following crops will
be considered: Heat-tolerant maize variety, Pest-tolerant been varietyMulching:
it
is a CSA practice carried out by applying a layer of material on the surface of
soil.  The materials used as mulch could
be dead plant materials or polythene materials. 
Mulching is very important in CSA for the following reasons: it helps in
conserving soil moisture (by preventing evaporation), improving fertility and
health of the soil, reducing weed growth and enhancing the visual appeal of the
area. The types of mulching materials used in Guatemala are polyethylene- black
mulch, polyethylene- SRM red mulch, mana grass and Guatemala grass. The mulch
applied covers the soil surface and thus does not leave the soil bare,
consequently preventing soil erosion. Finally, when mulch made of plant
material decomposes, additional nutrients are added to the soil.  Carrying out cost and benefits (CBA) on
mulching as a CSA practice, the following can be outlined as part of the cost
when mulching is employed: cost for equipment and machinery that would be used
for making the mulch, cost for labour and cost for polythene materials when
polythene are used as mulching materials. 
In addition, when mulch is applied, seeds remain dormant and if they
will even germinate, they take much longer time.Regarding the benefits associated application of mulching,
the following can be outlined: it increases crop yield by helping conserving
soil moisture consequently making soil water available to crops. Mulch made of
plant materials decompose and add additional nutrients to the soil thereby improving
fertility and health of the soil. Mulching reduces weed growth and thereby
reducing the amount of money needed to clear weeds in terms of applying
weedicides or using mechanical methods.  The
mulch applied covers the soil surface and thus do not leave the soil bear,
consequently preventing soil erosion. This implies that no new land is
necessary needed to be sought after for the next growing season since the
previous soil’s properties are kept intact. Crop Rotation: it is
the practice of growing a series of different types of crops on the same piece
of land by alternating them in different sequential growing seasons. The
original land on which crop rotation is applied could be a fertile land or
non-fertile. In Guatemala, Farms are very vulnerable to erosion and often are
steep or rocky. On average, the size of a farm ranges from .2 to 1.5 hectares. This
affects the size of plots because if you do not have enriched soils it is hard
to produce quality goods. As the farms are often steep or rocky, only a small
portion of land is available, this small portion of land is thus used for crop
rotation.For example, when we cultivate leguminous crops in one
growing season on a piece of land, the green leaves together with the other
wastes are ploughed into the soil after the growing season and thus
replenishing the fertility of the soil back into it. In the next growing
season, a different crop like maize can be cultivated on this same land which
has gained its fertility and the rotation can continue. Crop rotation often
uses a leguminous crop together with other non-leguminous in alternation in the
growing seasons.  Carrying out CBA on this practice, the cost involved in this
practice would be: Equipment used for ploughing the legumes into the soil, Cost
of fuel that would be bought for operating the ploughing machine and the other
mechanization process, Labour cost is also factored, Time consumed for the
ploughing process.The benefits involved in this practice would be: Yield will
be twice when manure is applied, crop rotation maintains the soil nutrients, it
also helps in improving the soil stability, It prevents soil erosion because
the land is always covered with some crops, Availability of cheap organic
manure, since after harvesting the legume the wastes is ploughed back into the
soil as free organic source.Contour farming: it is a type of CSA practice where
sloped land is tilled along lines of consistent elevation or mountainous areas
in order to conserve rainwater and to reduce soil losses from surface erosion.
These are done by means of making furrows, crop rows, and wheel tracks across
slopes. All of these act as reservoirs to catch and retain rainwater, thus
permitting increased infiltration and more uniform
distribution of the water. Contour farming has been practiced usually in places where water is
scarce and thus irrigation farming is important. Contour farming is used as an
essential part of erosion control. Carrying out CBA on this practice, the
cost involved in this practice would be:Equipment used for contouring and to
make furrows, labour cost for making the contours, time consumed for making the
contours, fuel to be consumed when making the contours.   The benefits involved in this practice
would be: Prevention of soil erosion, retention of soil water, it increases
water infiltration into the soil and also helps in slowing the water flow from
the top of the mountain to the bottom. Water reservoir/ ponds + drip irrigation: Water reservoir could
be explained as an enlarged natural or artificial area created specially as a
storage pond or impoundment to store water. Water reservoirs can
be created by damming a stream that drains from an existing water body. In
Guatemala   the use of low pressure drip
irrigation systems and rain water harvesters by impoverished farmers are being evaluated.
Water reservoir can also be created by digging a large hole for collecting
rainwater that will fall to the ground. This is usually done in arid regions
and consequently, water reservoirs are important for CSA. Drip irrigation
involves dispensing water to the crops using drip tubes. Drip irrigation
ensures that the crop gets exactly the amount of water needed for growth and
yield and thus avoids wastage of water which could just be sprinkled on the
land to dry up without serving any purpose to the crop. Combining water reservoir and drip
irrigation in CSA will ensure that the minimal water available is efficiently
and effectively used to ensure maximum yield. Carrying out CBA on this practice, the
cost involved in this practice would be:Equipment used for excavating the soil,
Equipment needed to line the excavated pit, Labour cost for making the
excavations, Time consumed for making the excavations, Fuel to be consumed when
making the excavations, Cost for the drip tubes and drip tips. The benefits involved in this practice
would be:It ensures continuous water supply to
the crops throughout the season and also sees to that exactly the right amount
of water is supplied to the crop, it avoids wastage of water, it ensures
continuous yield of crops throughout the year.Heat and water
stress-tolerant maize variety, Pest and disease-tolerant bean variety: Two common
indicators of CBA is Net present value (NPV) and Internal rate of return (IRR).
The IRR is defined as the discount rate (in this case 12%) which makes NPV
equal to zero.The payback period (PP) also plays an important role for
CBA of climate smart agricultural practices. Payback period refers to the time
needed to repay the initial investment (which includes material, labour and
installation costs). The payback period should be generally within 1 to 2 years
considering minimal financial risks for small producers.  Heat and water
stress-tolerant maize variety: ICTA B-7 a local maize variety tolerant to heat and
limited water scarcity was introduced.   Heat and water stress-tolerant maize variety is highly
pro?table in the conditions of the Dry Corridor in Guatemala as the entire
distribution of the Internal Rate of Return lies over the value of 12%. As a
matter of fact, there is a 90% probability of getting an IRR greater than 122%.In the case of Heat and water stress-tolerant maize
variety the payback period is 2 years.Pest and
disease-tolerant bean variety: ICTA Ligero bean variety with tolerance to Bean Golden
Mosaic Virus was introduced.Pest and disease-tolerant bean variety is highly
pro?table practice when the high frequency of the pest occurrence, the
subsequent yield losses, and low cost implied in changing variety is avoided.
The entire distribution of the Internal Rate of Return lies over the 12% value.
As a matter of fact, there is a 90% probability of getting an IRR more than
600%.In the case of Pest and disease-tolerant bean variety the
payback period is 1 year. Both the varieties have benefits in CSA practice when
compared to the conventional varieties of maize and bean. But, ICTA Ligero Pest
and disease tolerant bean variety emerges as the stronger choice for the
farmers in the region.*ICTA- Instituto de Ciencia y Tecnología Agrícolas
(Institute of agricultural science and technology)CONCLUSION:  

Climate smart
agriculture is an integrated approach to developing policy, technical and
investment conditions to acquire sustainable agricultural growth for food
security under varying climatic conditions. Farmers with small land holdings
following traditional methods of agriculture without considering the aspect of
climate change are now benefitted with CSA as there is very little risk by
practicing it. Climate Smart Agriculture brings together practices,
institutions and policies that are not new but in the context of climatic
change which is unfamiliar to farmers. There is sustainable increase in the
agricultural productivity and income by CSA. There are no negative
environmental impacts by the implementation of Climate smart agriculture.

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