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Climate-Resilient Farming Systems 

Climate-Resilient Farming Systems is a program in the Department of Global Development at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University.  It is a project-based program, led by Erika Styger, PhD, who collaborates with partners ranging from local community-based organizations to international organizations in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and most recently, in the USA.

Mission: Improve tropical smallholder farming systems for greater productivity and resilience to climate change through ecological approaches


Using ecological processes, we strive to improve the biological efficiency of farming systems and generate synergies to produce a triple win:

  • Sustainably increase agricultural productivity and incomes

  • Build resilience to climate change 

  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions 

Operational strategies:

  • Integrate agro-ecological approaches according to farmer needs, constraints and opportunities, including

    • System of Rice Intensification (SRI)/ System of Crop Intensification (SCI)

    • Sustainable Land and Water Management

    • Agrobiodiversity Management

    • Agroforestry

  • Combine scientific knowledge with local knowledge, using participatory research approaches with farming communities to create innovative solutions that benefit and empower farmers.

Currently, we focus on the scaling-up of the System of Rice Intensification (SRI). We are employing a holistic new approach, the Climate-Resilient Rice Production (CRRP) approach, which is based on SRI  in combination with location-specific sustainable land and water management practices (SLWM), and, if indicated, with integrated pest and disease management (IPM).

Scaling Up SRI in West Africa 


Rice Diversity Study, Saamaka, Suriname

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Applying SRI principles to Fonio (Digitaria exilis

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Regenerative rice farming with Black farming communities in Louisiana and Mississippi


        Sustainable Land Management 



   Agrobiodiversity Management 

   System of Rice Intensification


Analytical Studies, Field Research


    Project Design, Implementation

    and Evaluation 


 Training, Capacity Strengthening

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