Adaptation, mitigation and food security: Multi-criteria ranking system for climate-smart agriculture technologies illustrated for rainfed rice in Laos uri icon


  • Climate-smart Agriculture (CSA) represents a commonly accepted term in referring to intended changes in agriculture production addressing climate change. Although specific definitions may vary, CSA is typically conceived as having three pillars, namely Adaptation, Food Security and Mitigation. These three pillars as such, however, do not suffice for assessing scaling potentials of different CSA technologies as several other drivers may accelerate or impede large-scale adoption. This paper introduces a systematic approach for a comparative assessment of technology-specific scaling potentials distinguishing among three clusters of criteria.
  • The entire scoring procedure is illustrated through the case of a Climate-smart Village in Laos which is dominated by rainfed rice with low resource inputs. Improvements of rice varieties and seed systems clearly emerged as the most promising CSA intervention. Ideally, seeds used by farmers should (i) be a drought-tolerant rice variety and (ii) have better quality in terms of seed vigor and purity. Finally, the article discusses the applicability and versatility of this ranking system for other land use systems.
  • The ranking system requires scoring of CSA technologies by different stakeholder groups, namely farmers and extension workers/policy makers as well as research-based scoring. These scored values are then incorporated into a formula for calculating technology-specific ranking indices. This procedure also includes weighting factors to account for high and low significance of individual criteria for CSA scaling.

publication date

  • 2019
  • 2019