The Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) in Switzerland is pioneering efforts to tackle the challenges posed by climate change on the country’s agricultural sector. As temperatures rise and droughts become more frequent and prolonged, FOEN is leading a project in the Aargau canton to investigate the requirements for a climate-resilient agriculture system.
The project, titled “Adaptation as an Opportunity for Agriculture,” aims to understand the implications of climate change for local farmers and identify key stakeholders in the adaptation process. It is expected that Switzerland will experience an increase in average temperatures by two degrees Celsius in the summer months by 2060, along with a significant rise in the number of hot days from 11 to 26 per year.
To address these challenges, FOEN is encouraging farmers to explore sustainable solutions beyond conventional irrigation methods. This includes experimenting with heat and drought-resistant crops and employing innovative irrigation systems, such as drip irrigation, that optimize water usage. The project also emphasizes the need for strategic policy adjustments and increased research efforts to ensure a sustainable transformation of the agricultural sector.
By proactively addressing the impacts of climate change on agriculture, Switzerland aims to safeguard its food security, preserve biodiversity, and promote sustainable practices. The project serves as a model for other regions grappling with similar climate-related challenges, highlighting the importance of collective action and long-term resilience in the face of environmental changes.